Dear Ethan,

Welcome to the world. Everyone has been asking about you. How much do you weigh? How big are you? What was the exact time you made your dramatic entrance? I’ve often wondered why such details are so important. I guess that maybe it’s like your batting average. How many hits? How many runs? What is your on-base percentage? Don’t worry if you don’t know any of these things yet. Just like I taught your mother the ins and outs of baseball, I promise to teach you as well.

But now that you are here, I must caution you right away. We kind of messed the world up a bit. I am sorry about that. Life is a wonderful gift from God and He has many things in this world for you. Enjoy this life, work hard, love with a pure heart, and follow Jesus with all your heart. He made you and He loves you. Always trust Him.

Still, we messed this world up a bit, so you will need to be especially careful to follow Jesus. There is thing thing called “sin.” You’ll figure that out for yourself. It will show up when you look your mommy in the face and say, “NO!” It will sneak up on you just like that.

So, let me caution you right from the start. You need to love the Lord with all your heart and you need to hate sin. Oh yes, you also need to hate the New York Yankees. We’ll have time to talk about that evil empire.

Rest for now. There will be time when I will teach you how to crawl out of your crib and when we can go on many fun adventures together.

As for your life stats, don’t be too worried about them. But just so we can please the the life statisticians, here is your current batting average:

Your were born at 4:16pm (more or less–it’s really not an exact science) on Monday, July 16, 2012. And yes, you were four days late, but don’t let that bother you either. You will learn that God’s timing is rarely the same as ours.

You were 8 pounds and 6 ounces. Is that good? Who knows. Just look at it this way, you were much bigger than a typical Maine lobster, but not so big that you need to think about dieting.

You were 22 inches. We’ll that’s what they said at first. Then someone came along and re-measured you and said you were 21 inches. What’s the big deal? It’s an inch. So, you will see on your hospital birth certificate that it says “22” until someone scratched it out. Only a lawyer would make a big deal about that, but you are too young yet to learn about lawyers. It might be that we have to add them to the list of sin and the New York Yankees, but for now don’t worry about it.

We did give you a gift that someday you will come to appreciate. We raised your mommy to love the Lord with all her heart. You will always know God’s love through her and through your Dad. When you are a teenager, you might not be able to see these things, but just trust me, God gave you an incredible mother and father who not only love you, but who love God with all their hearts. And remember, that’s the most important thing in life.

And don’t forget to keep your eyes on those New York Yankees. They are not to be trusted.

Your Grandpa loves you, Ethan. Welcome to the planet.