No More Pacifiers

by Byron on July 7, 2016

Dear Gibson,

Last weekend, we sent your pacifiers to a new baby.  At least, that’s what we told you when we put all of the pacis in a giant ziplock bag and put them in the mailbox.  Later, I went and put them in the trash.  We don’t like lying to you and we seldom do it, even about little things.  But we needed a story.  You needed a story.  “I’m too big for pacis now” is probably just a little too heartbreaking.  For you and for me.  Now you tell everyone and tell us daily, “I gave my pacis to new baby.”

While you have the monumental struggles of moving from baby to big boy, our country and this world are having monumental struggles of their own.  On the world scale, we have civil war, death, destruction, terrorism, and genocide.  You know, little stuff.

In our country, we have all just awoken to what many have know forever…some cops are racist, and that means people die when they shouldn’t.  Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Baton Rouge, North Charleston, Roseville.  All deaths of blacks at hands of white cops.  And it used to be that there were no video cameras.  Now everyone has one in their pocket.

Aunt Heather talks about inherent bias.  She is right.  People have it and many aren’t even aware of it.  For some, the inherent bias many carry around has lethal consequences.  Maybe it’s possible you don’t have inherent biases when you are my age.  One can hope.  I have them.  I actively work to eliminate them and to eliminate their impact on my thinking and my decision making.

But it’s getting better.  It’s always been this way, it’s just now folks are talking about it.  I hope the world continues to get better for you.







You guys really like a song called 7 Years by Lukas Graham.  Decker, you asked me if I got 61 too.  I said only 37 so far, but working on it.  I don’t think you know the lyrics mean 61 years old.

The lyrics are below.  I like the song a lot too.  One thing in particular I like -

I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure.  

Cause I know the smallest voices they can make it major.

This couldn’t be truer.  Believe in yourself, in your goals, in your dreams.  I genuinely believe in things like The Secret, Think and Grow Rich, and the general concept that your thinking will determine your future.  Maybe by the time you guys are my age now, these things will have been scientifically proven.

Last night we went out to dinner, just the three of us.  Mom was working.  Then we went to Kenilworth Mall to throw coins into the fountain and get a toy and a book.  I had a scary moment with you Deck – we were on an escalator and you didn’t know that you couldn’t put your hands on the step near the top.  (You were climbing the steps with your hands first, then feet.  I screamed at the top of my lungs, “Stand Up.”  Fortunately, it worked out okay, and then we relaxed and talked about how we always have to stand up on escalators.  You didn’t know.  How could you know if I didn’t tell you, right?

I love you guys!


7 Years

Once I was seven years old, my mama told me,
“Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely.”
Once I was seven years old

It was a big big world, but we thought we were bigger
Pushing each other to the limits, we were learning quicker
By eleven smoking herb and drinking burning liquor
Never rich so we were out to make that steady figure

Once I was eleven years old, my daddy told me,
“Go get yourself a wife or you’ll be lonely.”
Once I was eleven years old

I always had that dream, like my daddy before me
So I started writing songs, I started writing stories
Something about that glory just always seemed to bore me
‘Cause only those I really love will ever really know me

Once I was twenty years old, my story got told
Before the morning sun, when life was lonely
Once I was twenty years old

(Lukas Graham!)

I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure
‘Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
I got my boys with me, at least those in favor
And if we don’t meet before I leave, I hope I’ll see you later

Once I was twenty years old, my story got told
I was writing about everything I saw before me
Once I was twenty years old

Soon we’ll be thirty years old, our songs have been sold
We’ve traveled around the world and we’re still roaming
Soon we’ll be thirty years old

I’m still learning about life
My woman brought children for me
So I can sing them all my songs
And I can tell them stories
Most of my boys are with me
Some are still out seeking glory
And some I had to leave behind
My brother, I’m still sorry

Soon I’ll be sixty years old, my daddy got sixty-one
Remember life, and then your life becomes a better one
I made a man so happy when I wrote a letter once
I hope my children come and visit once or twice a month

Soon I’ll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me?
Soon I’ll be sixty years old

Soon I’ll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me?
Soon I’ll be sixty years old

Once I was seven years old, my mama told me,
“Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely.”
Once I was seven years old

Once I was seven years old


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