As it turns out, we spelled Bryan’s name correctly. The majority of Brians in the world use an ‘i’ – some use a capital ‘I.’ We used a ‘y’ and it has come to symbolize the namesake.
When Bryan was young, like three years old, I taught him some silly youth songs. He sang with vigor, whether there was a crowd or not. Today he only sings in the shower – perhaps with cause. We sang about horses and fleas and three blind mice, we sang about sausage machines gone awry, we sang about ladies and gentlemen – Germans and gents.
As Bryan grew we introduced him to youth sports. Bryan became an excellent swimmer. But Bryan was an average athlete who could take or leave most of the sports. If I signed him up for basketball he would play – if not then he was OK with that too.
Bryan and I hammered some nails, caught some fish, went camping, built campfires, and hunted for squirrels. He could take or leave these activities as well. Bryan just sort of did whatever I was in the mood for doing – our relationship was like that. I was never much of a carpenter, fisherman, camper, arsonist, or squirrel hunter – the object was to expose Bryan to a varied life. That is the excuse I used – the reality was that Bryan was just a joy to have around – the stuff we did together was just stuff.
Bryan and I both like stories, we like anecdotal narrative. Each of us understands the pitfalls of anecdote – but they are fun nevertheless. Some say that Bryan is well spoken, others say he is just verbose. I am also verbose – and I have been told so in no uncertain terms.
The significance of the ‘y’ in Bryan’s name is the symbolism of a fork-in-the-road. Bryan makes conscious life choices. Bryan does not always choose the easy path – he chooses the correct moral path instead. That journey is more difficult – but the rewards are equal to the effort.
The most dramatic examples of Bryan’s choices are demonstrated in his growing immediate family. His choice of a spouse was intelligent, seasoned with some luck. No man has ever been more fortunate. Bryan’s children are marvels of nature – some of that comes naturally from being related to me but most of it is because of exceptional and purposeful parenting. Bryan makes choices as a husband and father that are examples of how modern men should act. His love for his family is radiant and captivating – one cannot be around Bryan and his family without feeling the presence of something greater than ourselves.
Today is Bryan’s birthday. He is more mature than I was at his age. When he was growing up I observed his developing personality through the lens of a hopeful father. There is absolutely nothing about Bryan that I would change – A man could not have a better son.
Bryan is a better father, husband, son, brother, and friend than I ever was. I am a proud, arrogant, boastful, incendiary person. Bryan has more language skills than I have – and he applies them with the natural love and kindness that is inherent in his very being.
Happy Birthday Son.