"...she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord..." (from I Samuel 1:20)
Our first child; literally our firstborn son Jonathan David "Jon" Baril was born on this day, July 30, twenty-nine years ago. To me it seems like maybe SEVEN years ago. I remember that hot and humid late July Saturday vividly.
I had mixed emotions about having a son. Oh, don't get me wrong, I was pleased. I just wondered how "good" of a father I would be. I also hoped Jon would not be very much like me. I was frequently aware that in many ways I was a disappointment to my own father. Gene Baril, although not really a very big man, was an outstanding athlete. He was particularly accomplished at baseball, softball, and hockey, although he was a decent football player, as well. Gene Baril was also a very good mechanic. Gene was confident and macho. He loved being a law enforcement officer, and fearlessly confronted lawbreakers. In so many ways, I was much more like my mother. I was not mechanically inclined at all, and not very athletic. I couldn't imagine stopping cars and writing tickets to the offenders in an intimidating fashion. That just was not me.
Well, Jon DID grow up to be like me. Jon is gifted with a very high I.Q. which I do not have. He is much more outspoken than I am, and thus can offend people easily. Like me (and to a degree like my daughter Rachel) Jon is usually very shy one-on-one. Jon, Rachel, or I could entertain a crowd of thousands (or even millions on television) with great confidence. We all have what's known as "stage presence". It's meeting someone and having to have a one-on-one interview with them, or really meeting any person for the first time that tends to be terrifying to us. We have these magnanimous stage personalities, yet privately we'd rather be alone and reading a book, watching a movie, or writing at the computer.
It has saddened me when people have misunderstood Jon. It's been painful, because in life I have often been similarly misunderstood.
When Jon was born I was twenty-eight years old, and just weeks from my twenty-ninth birthday. Today, Jon is twenty-nine.
I wish for Jon a blessed birthday and a wonderful year. At that age, I had several great miracles happen in my life that propelled me ahead for decades. I wish and pray such miracles for Jon.
To use an expression my late mother would have used, "Say a prayer for Jon today".
And, please check out his blog. His blog is at:
And if you want to send him a birthday greeting, let me know and I'll help you do that.
There Goes the Neighborhood
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