There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railway man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. – Theodore Roosevelt
I saw that illustrated this Christmas. It was the first one I spent without my wife of forty years, the previous one being only two weeks before her death. This year, instead of everyone coming to my house, I went to Dallas, to spend Christmas with my oldest son, his bride of sixteen months, and my five-month old granddaughter. My other two sons were there, too. One lives in Fort Worth, the other one came up to the DFW area to spend the weekend with his fiance’s family.
It was the first time I and the three of them spent time together, relaxing, in over a year. (Funerals don’t count.) I suddenly realized how lucky I was. All three are out on their own, standing on their own two feet. They have their own places (the oldest two own homes), have worthwhile jobs, and have started or are starting families of their own. From a parenting standpoint, that is batting 1.000.
Janet would have been proud. I know I am. Theodore Roosevelt is right. It does make all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.