13 years ago today I became a dad to an awesome little boy. A little boy so tiny at birth that my wedding ring could easily go over his foot and slide all the way up his thigh, and so fragile that it would be more than a month before we could even hold him.
It amazes me now to think that this teeny tiny little helpless baby has taught me so much about strength.
Despite his tiny frame, Patrick has always had a physical strength that allows him to do countless pull-ups and glide effortlessly across monkey bars (107 times non-stop is his personal best). A strength that allows him to traverse up rock walls for hours and hours with a natural ease and grace to his movements. A physical strength that seemingly gives him the ability to run forever. At 13 years old, Patrick’s strength is his art, and it’s an incredibly beautiful thing to watch.
Patrick also has an inner strength though that burns brighter than anything I’ve ever seen. As a result of his prematurity part of his vision was taken away, and when your eyes don’t work at 100% it means that every day life becomes exponentially harder to do. Small tasks like dropping a pencil on the ground require a ton of effort and focus, and at some point you have to accept that your 4 year old little brother will sometimes be able to do things easier than you. Despite all of the things that seem so unfair though, Patrick has this inner strength that constantly fuels his abundant love of life. A strength that at times seems to overflow from his little body and always allows him to see the good in other people.
It is this inner strength that makes Patrick the strongest person I’ve ever met.