9 Years ago my life changed when I became a parent. This boy was born to Lacy and I, under unexpected circumstances (profiled here: http://blog.spotd.net/2009/02/josephs-story-july-august-2005.html).
Having a child is a truly transformative event. I have never felt a greater understanding of what I think God must feel for us than at the births of my children. The physical miracle of pregnancy, the utter innocence and simple needs of the infant, and the unconditional love that I had for him are all evidence (to me) of our Heavenly Father's hand in our lives.
Echoes of that feeling have returned on many occasions in the last nine years. To say that birth is the most impactful demonstration of it shouldn't detract from these subsequent manifestations of God's love. The difference is a matter of degrees.
When a child is born to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is the privilege of that family to have their child blessed and to have their name formally recorded on the membership rolls of the Church. Normally this blessing is performed by the father, if he is an authorized and worthy holder of the priesthood.
I was able to perform these blessings for my children, and I am grateful for that. In Joseph's blessing, given just about 107 months ago, I blessed him that he would be kind. I mentioned it more than once. I have seen this spiritual gift in him so many times over the last 9 years. I think anyone who knows him, knows that he has a kind and empathic heart. I believe that promise was inspired by the Holy Ghost, and I credit my Father in Heaven for it.
I am so proud of this part of Joseph, which is not highly prized in some sectors of our culture. Among the people that I love and care about, it is appreciated, another thing that I am thankful for. Someday his kindness will make him a better husband and father than me. Someday his kindness will give others license to adopt more kindness in their own lives.
I love this boy. I read some earlier posts on his birthdays (this one from his 5th birthday has some nice photos of his baby/toddler years- http://blog.spotd.net/2010/07/happy-5th-birthday-joseph.html). I am so glad to be his father, and humbled by what he teaches me.
I love you Joseph! Happy Birthday!