As parents we want our kids to grow up and be happy, healthy and well-adjusted.  We want them to be productive members of society.  And, if we’re honest, we want them to be us…better versions of us.

It’s like kids are the one last shot we have at the buzzer to win the game of life.  Because let’s be honest: most of us, present company included, have played the game long enough to be tired and we need a TIME OUT.

Kids are like one giant 18-year time out that you get.  It lasts from the time you’ve been an immature player, traveling all over the floor and not scoring much, through the time you know your place on the floor and can afford the shoes.

Lord knows we have gone up against all the Kevin Durant’s we can muster – the ones who are just inherently better than we are.

We have gone up against all the Steph Curry’s – the ones who are better, know it, and walk around with a perma smirk that we want to smack off and still be seen as “taking the high road.”

And we have definitely, absolutely, unequivocally gone up against all the Draymond’s we can deal with – the ones who knock you down and say it was your fault because you were in the way, scream like idiots, and are generally just mean.  Technically.  (I know you appreciate that, my fellow ball fans).

Kids give us a much needed break from the world.  They, as irony goes, are the ones who shield us.  Sure, we shield them from kidnappers and razor-laden Halloween candy, but our kids are where we find our rest – again, as ironic as that may sound.

For those of you who don’t already know (like maybe 1 or 1.5 of you), my girl is in Europe having the time of her life.  She is there studying abroad for the next 4 weeks and is loving every minute of it.  She is meeting many new people from many different walks of life and now refers to them as “family.”  We’re having a family dinner downstairs, she says. 

My daughter sees the world as a canvas, one filled with a myriad of vibrant colors that, when combined through a lens of love and acceptance, comes together to create the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen.

Before I knew that girl, the only picture I had seen of her was from an ultrasound.

But now – twenty-one years later – the picture I see of her bears a slight resemblance to the reflection I still sometimes see in the mirror.

And nothing makes me happier than the fact that while I may be a Cavs fan, she is clearly the Warrior.