One year ago today, I watched my Godson, Caelan come into the world and glimpse the first sights of life outside the womb. Fast forward a year, and the two of us were playing together in the pool while he kicked, slapped, and splashed around in pure joy.

I’ve heard parents talk about how the experience of having a child changed everything for them, but I’ve never been quite so close to it and seen the transformation in such profound ways. I can say with total certainty that little Caelan has been a blessing to everyone whose life he has touched, including my own. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to be actively involved in his life.

Watching him grow is fascinating. If I don’t see him for a couple of weeks, I feel like he’s a different kid. He’s taking tentative steps now and will be walking in earnest quite soon.  It was only a couple of months ago that he started crawling, yet now he’s ready to take it to the next step, literally.

Brandon and Caelan on Day 1I could write all day about all the reasons I’m grateful for him, but instead I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the reasons why his life inspires me to do more with mine. The world that he is living in is much more complicated than the one I grew up in, and I hope to make a positive impact with my time here that he will be proud of when he’s old enough to consider these kinds of things.

The past couple of days, I’ve found myself contemplating what he’s going to be living with as he comes of age.  There are big issues on the table that will have to be addressed by the point he reaches high school.

Climate, Food, Water, Energy – you name it.  Big stuff. 

Caelan isn’t yet figuring out calculus equations (that we know of anyway), but he’s making incredible progress in other ways. Seeing him stand up and take a few steps on his own before falling back down or grabbing onto something for stability reminds me of how societally we seem to be paralleling his development stage.

Arguably, we were here at this turning point a few decades ago and then regressed back to crawling for a while. Either way, it feels like we’re about ready to take off and really start running toward a brighter future for humanity.

Let’s hope.

Kids can teach us so much if we stop and pay attention. They grow and adapt to new realities constantly. They test themselves, fall down often, but dust themselves off and keep going.

They evolve.  Quickly.  

If children can evolve so quickly, can’t resourceful, wise adults do the same to make the world a better place for the kids that will follow them? Interesting thought, isn’t it?

Beyond just wanting a better world for Caelan, I want his life to illuminate things that will help guide me toward making a better world for everyone else, too. I can’t think of a better gift to give him.

Think about the kids in your life.  What do you see as you watch them grow?  Do you consicously think about making things better for their future, beyond just buying things to make them temporarily more comfortable or happy?

Can kids teach us how to live, and more importantly, how to dream?

Are we capable of living life with the infinite possibilities that kids live with?

I think we can.  Are you with me?

Photo: Me and Caelan on his first day