The father-son relationship is a special one. It is often filled with non-verbal communication and is conveyed in small ways like a nod of the head or a arm around the shoulder. As such, I probably don’t brag on my oldest son enough. Even though there is plenty to brag about. Hunter is very smart, he’s a logical thinker and he has a caring heart. This past week, while we were on vacation, there were several occasions that made me smile with pride.

So I want to share two of those here. They both have to do with seeing beauty. Too often we hurry through life and miss the beautiful moments. The stars overhead go unnoticed. The blooming wildflower blends into the scenery as we zip by on our way to the mall. We have to learn to see beauty. This is something I hope to teach my sons.

1. Sunset – The first incident happened within the first few hours of arriving at the beach. The kids were all playing in the pool and I was lounging in a chair reading. We went on the trip with friends so there were five kids in our group ranging from 9 years old to 14. They were playing and laughing when all of sudden I heard Hunter say, “Everybody stop! Look at the sunset!” The group fell quiet for a moment and a few “oooh’s” were uttered. It was a brief moment before they began laughing and playing again, but it stayed with me for the entire trip.

Yes, Hunter, it was worth taking a few moments to stop and soak in that beautiful sunset. Your leadership in helping the others to see it made me very proud.

2. Runaway bag – The second incident happened on our third day at the beach. My wife and I were sitting in beach chairs soaking in the sun and listening to the waves while the kids were playing in the water. Hunter sat in a chair next to me. A plastic bag went rolling across the beach as the wind filled it with life. I mentioned it to Kristy as I sat there thinking about the amount of trash that must end up in the ocean from careless beach-goers. While I was regretting the situation, Hunter walked up with the bag. “Where can I put this?” he asked.

There is a small but important difference between seeing a problem and doing something about it. Hunter, you did something about it that day. That was a great example of the drive and initiative I see within you.

Yeah, I’m a proud dad.