#TobyTalk | Sweet Sixteens and Coronavirus things...

Parenting. It's a big word which I don't really try to define because it changes so often... and you add to it, take away from it, add more to it... it's one of those things which is constantly evolving.

It's not easy... especially when things are out of your control... you know, like having a 16th birthday on a Monday in the middle of a pandemic.

We wish, I think, for the best for our kids. We try as we might to do what we can to bring them joy... to keep them from pain... but sometimes, you just have to let go... and let life.

That's what today is. Letting go and letting life... do what it is doing.

I'm not the most religious person, but I do have my faith and my spirituality. I choose to believe that all things happen for a reason... and, yes, I choose to believe that this pandemic is happening for a reason... and I choose to believe that for whatever reason, Kyla's Sweet 16 party had to be postponed and that today would be the day that it's turned out to be for her. I don't pretend to know the reason why just yet... but I'm certain when this all passes... it will be for a great reason, one which will make sense and one which, God willing, will provide her, her mom's family and I with memories which will last a lifetime.

Kyla, I know today isn't what we wanted it to be - and I know this stinks... but I promise, once we get through this, we'll have more adventures ahead. More memories to make and more moments to be shared...

... not to mention, one epic post-pandemic celebration of your 16 plus years of life!

16 years ago, Kyla, I was a guy teetering on the edge of chaos at times in my own personal life. I lived life too fast. Played arguably too hard at times. I certainly wasn't focused on my mental health as I am now...

That all changed at 1:23 AM when you showed up. And, while I'm still not perfect, you gave me a new focus. A new reason to be here. A new reason to strive for more. That morning, I became a dad, but the greatest gift you ever gave me was that when you were born, you made me grow up.... and you made me want to become a man.

I hope you know how much I adore you, Kyla. Happy Birthday!

Love,

Dad

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