December 25, 1985

Early spring, 1985 I was 29 years old and had been married 3 years. We had two dogs, two sports cars, great jobs and our first dream house in Austin, Texas. We were living the dream and it was hard to imagine a better life. My sister and two brothers were years into raising lots-o-kids and I was happy for them and enjoyed being uncle Don. Frankly I was not entirely sure I wanted kids of my own.

A couple of years before my sweet bride began to patiently and persistently convince me that our own kids would be much easier to adore than any others. So we placed our order and waited. Month after exhausting month our orders got lost or something (this was way before Internet tracking numbers).

Now here’s an important side note; for as long as I’d known where and how to order babies (I was an early study of the subject) I had been unforgiving of people with a kid born on a holiday. I mean, come on, who doesn’t know how long to bake that cake and how to avoid their kid suffering a lifetime or explaining their parents’ ignorance? Seriously I had no tolerance for that kind of simple minded procreation; family planning was not rocket science.

Welp, after placing our order many times and getting nada we were not about to waste any of our twelve limited edition coupons per year, so damn holidays. Apparently I wasn’t a family planning savant after all, because when we finally scratched off a winning ticket in early spring 1985 and did the math our doctor predicted late December and I told him exactly what birth date to mark on his calendar, December 25th.

Thus began the amazing life of Benjamin David Strickland. He has often not conformed to our schedule, certainly has taught us more than we taught him, filled our lives with joy and always exceeded our dreams.

May 10, 2013 we will stand with deep love, imeasurable joy and continued wonder as Benjamin accepts his diploma from the University of Oklahoma, School of Arts & Sciences.

We are proud of you Ben and watch with great anticipation for what is next.

Love,

Mom & Dad

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