NJIB - March 2019

NJIB’s

MAR 2019 8 Years With Lia Grace Sharing a Birthday Month With My Eldest Daughter LifestyleLedger

On March 13, I will turn 44, and I know exactly how I will be spending it. I’ll celebrate the occasion the same way I’ve celebrated the past 43 birthdays: with my family. Anyone who knows me — or is an avid reader of the NJIB newsletter — knows just how important my family is to me. Even relatives with a distant relation have significant meaning to me, and I firmly believe there is nothing of greater value on this earth than your family. The quality time I spend with my family on my birthday is greater than any gift I could ever get. We don’t do anything huge; most birthdays are spent enjoying each other’s company and some much-anticipated birthday cake. But in the past eight years, my birthday has become more special than it ever used to be; my eldest daughter, Lia Grace, was born on March 3, 2011. Much like her father, she’s perfectly content with a day spent celebrating with her family, and I’m proud to have instilled this idea in her. It’s a big lesson my wife and I try to teach all our children, especially as they age and become more inundated in material possessions. Sharing a birthday month with Lia Grace has been pretty amazing, and she’s also caught on to sharing my love of the number three. Being born in the third month on lucky number 13, having my eldest daughter born on March 3, and even having our twins born on the 23 — these events are all I need to know three is my lucky number. This is a bond I’ll share with Lia Grace forever, and it makes March one of the most exciting months in my household.

see how they have grown. But if every parent could have their way, their children would stay young and innocent forever. Still one of my greatest joys has been watching how Lia Grace has progressed, matured, and grown throughout eight years. Every night before bed, I tell her that she will change the world. Until recently, her answer was always the same. She’d say, “Okay, Daddy,” and we’d both move on with our night. But lately, she’s become more inquisitive. Now she asks me, “How, Daddy?” Still slightly dumbfounded that my little girl —my princess and the child who I swear was just a baby yesterday — now possesses such curiosity, I often explain to her that she can change the world however she sees fit. Whether it’s through raising her own family or working in some executive role at a large company, she has her own power to change the world in the best way she can. Only she can decide how to do that. However if the bravado and natural way she’s taken to being an older sister and amazing helper to her parents in her eight years on this earth are any sign, she’s destined to change the world in many wonderful ways. I cannot wait to keep watching her and her little siblings grow.

Have a wonderful birthday, Lia Grace! You’ll most certainly change the world.

Celebrating your children’s birthdays conjures up a batch of complicated feelings. You’re excited for their big day and thrilled to

–Dr. Michael Russo

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