Last week was a pretty eventful week. My wife, Rachel, gave birth to our new daughter, Madison Avery Mills. Since then, and knowing how much lies ahead for this new baby, I started to think about what traits she will exhibit as she grows…traits of some of the closest people in my life.
We all have something that makes us special, and if I could wish for the best in many people for my daughter Maddy, these are the things I hope for.
From my Mom, Sandra – Humility – She’s led an incredible life. She’s traveled the world singing with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. She raised three boys and was a great wife to a wonderful man. She’s led by example and has never boasted even the slightest toward her accomplishments.
From my Dad, Gene – Joy – Completely sharing, always smiling, incredibly funny, and one of the hardest working men I’ve ever met. It took a lot to make this man see anything but possibility and hope in any situation in life.
My Brother Kevin – Intellegence – The next time you turn on a light switch, thank an enginneer. Someone had to design the power plant that created the energy that allowed that to happen. It’s the creative intellegence that sets certain enginneers apart, and it’s that part of Kevin I appreciate the most.
My Brother Kyle – Bravery – How do you face cancer at 17 and smile? I’ll never understand how he handled what he did, but if we could all get just a little of it, we’d walk around with a smirk on our face, knowing that there’s nothing you couldn’t handle.
My partner here at Go Swim, Barbara Hummel – Patience – Barbara’s ability to deal with my never-ending ideas, and reign them in, is the thing that’s kept us around for more than a decade.
The man who talked me in to starting Go Swim with Barbara, Sheldon Wollman – Trust – By allowing me to coach his son Evan, Sheldon became my coach, giving great guidance and counceling for business, and life.
My Son, Kyle – Focus – Kyle was a wonderful athlete while in high school and we had talked about him continuing in college. He could have swum, or played soccer, but during Kyle’s freshman year, he told me he had decided to focus on his acedemics. I was incredibly proud of his decision, and he’s done a great job in his college career.
My Daughter Samantha – Free Spirit – Such is the artist, unencumbered by limits, but eyes open to what can be. Sammy’s wonderful heart, and creative desire reminds me every day that it’s more important to do what you love than to do what others think you should. Nothing great in the world came without someone seeing beyond what others did.
Me – Stubborness – The only reason I was a good athlete was because I refused to think I couldn’t be, and didn’t stop trying until I succeeded. My thought process has always been, if someone can do it, why can’t it be me. Of course, I do limit those thoughts to very specific things, which is why I don’t play basketball.
My wife, Rachel – Drive – Go ahead… tell her she can’t do something. I dare you. Rachel is one of the most professional swim coaches I’ve ever seen. Completely prepared for every practice, with no stone unturned. Arriving each morning long before the swimmers, to make sure everything is ready to go. Fielding texts late into the night for her swimmers asking for referrals for college, let alone the regular "can’t make it tomorrow," even though she’ll be there. Prepared and passionate. I have to say I love working for her while at the pool. Watching what I watched last Monday with the birth of Maddy, Rachel’s swimmers are going to have to REALLY step up their game if they want to be the toughest person at the pool. 😉
While Samantha and Kyle are starting to begin the next stages of their lives, Maddy has everything we could ever imagine in front of her. Which of those traits will she lean toward? Will she have all, a few, or will she show us new traits we haven’t even thought of yet. The complete unknown is the only thing we know.
Welcome to the world, Madison Avery Mills. You’re already loved by many… but especially by Mommy and Daddy!