Our oldest son, Henry, just celebrated his fifth birthday this past Monday, March 27. How quickly time goes by! Wow

I remember the moment we walked into Unity Point Health here in Muscatine and began the process of getting my wife checked in. It started to feel real. I read a study that said millennials don’t feel like an adult until the age of 30. For me, it was 28. That’s how old I was when Henry came into the world and everything changed. The pregnancy and the nine months leading up to his birth were certainly real, but the gravity of the situation didn’t fully hit me until I was cutting his umbilical cord. (I missed on the first attempt—true story).

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the last five years and reflecting on things that as a parent I need to do better. None of us are perfect, and I can identify several things that I can adjust to be the best father I can for Henry and Theodore. The most glaring perhaps is unplugging, literally.

Technology is wonderful, but most times I find myself mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds when I should be spending that time with my kids. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring my kids, by any means—that’s not the case. I just should give the most amount of time I have to them. What am I really going to miss on social media? People complaining about stuff and pictures of food, right?

So the next five years, I’ll be improving the quality time I spend with my children; that’s my promise. By that point Henry will be ten years old, and I’m assuming he’ll be the one demanding a smart phone. That, friends, is another conversation: the appropriate age to give your kids their first phone. I was eighteen years old and it was one of those Nokia phones you could drop off the side of a building and it would crack the cement!

Happy Birthday, Henry. Your birth made me into a man and you continue to impress me each day. Love, Dad.