“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

“What a handful! Are they all yours?  Wait… how old are you?”

This is me, riding the train with my three kids. Sometimes, I grow a beard. People ask fewer questions about my age when I have a beard.  

My wife and I had our first child in our early 20s. It’s not for everyone. But sleepless nights, hugs, dirty diapers, squeals, tears, and smiles are teaching me sacrifice, patience, and love. Mostly love. In exchange, I do my best to keep my kids well-fed and pointed in a good direction. I’m not sure it’s a fair exchange; this world can be a hard place. Will I be able to give my children the opportunities they need to succeed in life?

On reflection, probably not.

As much as my parents gave me, they fell short (so did their parents). But along the way, others helped me fill in the gaps.

That’s why I will spend my life giving back to strangers, friends, and community so others can have the chance to fill in their gaps. That’s how my kids will make it through this life.

“Yes, they are all mine. And no, they’re not a handful.”

— Craig Maughan