Ben is lot like his Dad: he likes his toys, he is curious about the world, and he loves his sister. With any luck (not that luck has much to do with it) he will turn out as well as his Dad did. His Dad had the great good fortune to have as his Mom an astoundingly good mother.

I was – and am still – in awe how how thoroughly and how naturally Pam cared for our kids when they were young. She seems to have been especially gifted and blessed in that role. She was so comfortable and so competent; it seemed like nothing our kids ever did surprised or dismayed her. As a result our kids grew up without pretense or artifice, naturally caring, naturally kind.

Nicole is a lot like that. She thoroughly enjoys being a mom, and she is natural and comfortable in that role. We are delighted that she is pregnant and look forward to the birth of this new baby in May. That’s fantastic news, because she is great Mom. Jon is no slouch in the parenting department either, so both of their children are fortunate.

Ben is a lucky boy to be growing up in such a loving family. He doesn’t know that now, of course. He just takes as a given the wonderful world that he sees around him and thinks that the whole is like that. I have taught for 35 years to some desperately poor and neglected children. The world is not like that. Ben is a lucky little boy, although given his parent’s faith, blessed would be a more appropriate word. We wish him all the best on his birthday and hope that he likes the little gifts we sent him.