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Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to the main event
A fight of the century
The bout worth every cent

In this corner, Daddy
Big, strong and wise
In the opposite; daughter
With the biggest blue eyes

This fight will put chills down your spine
It’s bound to be a thrill
Let’s listen to this verbal match
Lean in quietly and be still

The smallest one starts it off
Let’s hear her first swing
With a phrase she starts the brawl
Then Daddy steps into the ring

“I love you so much” she begins
We can almost hear the crowd roar
Their eyes stare each other down
She gets the very first score

“I love you more than you will ever know”
Daddy says with a smug grin
Then little lady fires back
The intense struggle is about to begin

“No, I love you times a million”
She says thinking she was going to win
But Daddy was ready for her joust
He cracks his knuckles, takes a breath, and leans in

“You are out matched little one
You don’t have a prayer
Mom and I asked God for you
We loved you before you even breathed air”

Daughter tried to fire back
But Daddy didn’t let her go
There was more that needed to be said
He was not nearly out of ammo

“I love you more than wide is wide
I love you farther than the planet Mars
I love you all the way to God and back
Way past the twinkling stars

Don’t try to defeat me in this
Because you have already lost
I would do anything for you
No matter what the cost

Sometimes mom and I can get mad
And raise our voices to correct
But never forget how much we love you
You are mine, despite whether or not you object

And with that final blow
The 4 year old accepted defeat
Not a thing could be said
As she stated at her little feet

Then, suddenly she looked up
with joyful tears in her eyes
She kissed Daddy on the cheek
And he realized this was all a guise

All she really wanted
Was to hear her Daddy say
That He loved her without conditions
And then she ran off to play.

 

-Landon DeCrastos

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josiahHey Bub,

It’s your Daddy. A few days ago, I wrote a letter to your sister and I wanted to continue to convey my feelings by writing one to you. There are so many things I would love to tell you. I could spend days typing out a message to you and the surface level of my love for you would not even begin to be described. I do think there are some specific things you need to know, and today I want to take the time to tell you. As I am writing this letter, you are an energetic, stubborn, smart, loving 4 year old boy. You are my boy. Never forget that.

First, you have to know how proud I am of you. No matter how many times I get on your case about being obedient, or how many things in our house get damaged beyond repair, it is vital for you to know that I think you are amazing. I am old-fashioned, I know this, and for a first-born son I have made it a point to raise you carefully with the understanding that your name means something. In the Old Testament, King Josiah was known as the king who led his people back to God. This followed generation after generation of people who disobeyed God’s word and went their own way. I see this influence in you already. You are a strong, smart, and determined little boy who will lead many to God. Your middle name, just like your sister’s, was named after a person who loves Jesus more than anything. To me, I want to see you thrive, and I know you can be whatever you choose to be. God chose only you for your calling. Run after Him and you will see blessing.

A few days ago, I seemed mad at you for a few minutes because you jumped on me and punched me in the back. Can I be honest with you about that experience? I loved it. Why? Because of what you said when you did it. Let me explain. Your sister and I were having an epic tickle battle and I had her pinned on the couch. I was tickling her and nibbling on her belly, and you were pretending you were a superhero. You jumped on my back and told me you were protecting her and you fought me to get me to stop. I had to discipline you because it was the right parenting move because “we don’t hit”, but deep down inside I was so proud. I couldn’t show it because I would have gotten in trouble with Mommy… The point is, you are right. You are called to be a protector of your sister. Don’t ever forget this…It is a serious job. You have super powers. Use them wisely.

Your sister watches every move you make. Be wise. She will look to you when she gets older as a resource and a person who will always be there when her heart is broken. Be the knight who slays the dragon for her.

More than anything else, you must remember that Daddy loves you more than life. When I saw you for the first time, it was a spiritual experience for me. I felt as if I knew you…as if your face was familiar to me. You are so special.

You are a DeCrastos. Make that mean something. I want to use this letter as one of the ways I impart my blessing on you…as your father…and the only one who can.

I love you Bub. As your Papaw always told me…you make my heart smile.

-Daddy

P.S. When you get up from your nap, I am challenging you to a wrestling match. Get ready to go down.


babeHi Babe,

It is your Daddy. I am writing this letter to you today, because there are some important things I need to tell you. I feel like God has given me some specific words to say to you, and also I have some of my own to add. As I am writing this letter, I know you are only 19 months old and you can’t read, but you and your brother have made such an impact on me that I have to make my feelings known.

First, I want to say that I love you with all my heart. I know you hear me say this all the time and you act like you get tired of hearing it, but it is my most important message. You truly light up every moment of my day. My love for you is so deep that you make me forget about bad or stressful times. No matter what happens in your life, please always remember that Daddy loves you more than life itself. Sometimes, when I am a way I daydream about hugging my children and wrestling around in the living room. You are amazing.

I have to be honest about something. It scares me to see you grow up. In my mind you are still a newborn infant, so when Mommy talks to me about switching you to a “big girl ” bed I want to put my fingers in my ears and ignore any comments made on the subject. I know I have to get over this, but I really don’t want to so just let me be a stubborn Dad right now, and hold you forever. Umkay? Good.

You also need to know that I have already decided that no boy will ever be good enough for you. When you are dating, and looking for that special someone, just know that the answer is no, and he is not right for you. Make that a default answer and just assume it will always be the case. Oh…alright…I suppose that SOME day I will accept the fact that another man will steal your heart. I guess I need to start praying about that right now, huh? Can I please pray that this moment is at least 50 year away? No? Ugh…ok…fine.

The other day we had the most intensely special time I have ever experienced with you. When I got you up from your nap I just held you in my arms. I pulled out my phone and put on a slow song and we danced. You rested your head on my shoulder and I took many opportunities to gently kiss you on the forehead. It was lovely. It was spiritual. I want you to know that I will never forget that moment. I want to always be your dance partner.

For the rest of your life, I want to be your protector. If you get hurt, I will try to make it better. If you are sad, I want to make you happy. If you are afraid, please tell me and I will beat up the monsters. I want to be there for you. For always. For keeps.

You are so smart. I am so excited to see the ways God will use you in your life. I want you to know that I think you have endless possibilites in front of you and I am convinced you will grow up to be amazingly talented in whatever you do in the future. Shoot for the moon. Work hard, and you will see abundance because of it.

I love you sweetheart. You will always be my princess. Don’t forget that. Keep running after God, serving Jesus, and showing compassion to others and you will never regret it. I am excited to see you grow in Christ, and be a light to this world. We need it.

-Daddy

Note: The next couple blog posts will be letters to my son and wife.


parentingHere is the deal. I am no parenting expert, and I do not have enough experience to teach a parenting class. This is simply in response to the questions I keep hearing about my philosophy. I seem to get a lot of comments about my son and his behavior that are very positive. This is not meant to shame anyone, but to give you all encouragement and perhaps some new ideas. Ultimately, God gave us our children to lead and to help to equip them to be who He created them to be. So, here are a few things I have observed concerning the behavior of my toddler….using my son as an example.

Over stimulation breeds tantrums

Through a process of elimination, we noticed that the more television our son watches, the worse his behavior. For a while, we would turn the TV on every time he asked to watch a movie and for different shows we knew he liked. When I got home from work, my wife would inform me that he was not listening, throwing things, and yelling a lot. When we strictly limited TV…his behavior got much better. We have also seen this in other instances…when he is over stimulated with so many activities, sounds, and visual input this type of result occurs.

Diet can be a contributing factor to behavior

For my son, we were able to find a link between irritability and gluten. Also, as every parent knows, when a child ingests too much sugar things can get interesting. Too much sugar for a young child can make them unable to concentrate and make them angry.

Quality time improves behavior

This one is hard for me to talk about without getting a little teary-eyed. The fact is…when I put more emphasis on my work, meetings, and time away from home than my time with my kids…behavior worsens.  Quality and quantity are important. Enough said here…I am feeling too convicted.

Physical touch can neutralize

Hugs. Wrestling. Etc. Sometimes my son just wants me to embrace him. Sometimes sweaty boy play time cures a lot of issues.

Talk to your child…not in their vicinity.

I read a statistic the other day that said the average parent only spends 9 minutes or seconds (can’t remember which one) a day talking to their child directly with eye contact. There needs to be more of this in my opinion.

Say no….and mean it.

Sometimes I say no just because I like seeing my son whimper…JUST KIDDING.  But I do think it is important to say NO, and be consistent with the consequences and follow up. It is a respect issue.

From time to time…make a fool of yourself

I love playing with my toddler…like a toddler would play. With silly thoughts…imagination and made up settings. It is therapeutic for me, and during play time, my son gets to be leader and invite me into his world.

I love being a Daddy.

-Landon DeCrastos



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