It’s something you know will happen one day, and you just pray you’ll be ready. The day you become a dad — God’s greatest gift, life — you cradle that little body knowing the journey is beginning and that special day is coming. For me those days happened this year, first our oldest daughter Aubrey turned 21 and you just have to ask, where did the years go? And now today, our youngest daughter Austen turns 18. You dream of raising quality young ladies who will be the embodiment of the principles and values upon which you were raised — and to be strong Christian girls. As a parent we pray the simple words of Solomon, Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
And so it is that today I awoke to a young 18-year-old daughter who I constantly pray will not depart from the ways in which Angela and I have tried to instruct. But also, I awake to a daughter living in interesting times when the very Republic for which her dad took an oath to guard is under assault.
My commitment to Aubrey and Austen is to pass on to them greater opportunities for their success and a more exceptional America. The challenge is that we are living in a time when our rule of law, the very foundation of our Republic — its Constitution — means nothing to the one who is supposed to uphold the Constitution and faithfully execute our laws.
We give our children gifts for their birthday and special celebrations and holidays like Christmas. However, on this day, I realize the greatest gift I can give Austen is a Constitutional Republic which is her special birthright as an American. What we must seek to give to our children not just on a special day but everyday is the gift that has truly kept giving for some 238 years in our country — the gift of liberty and freedom.
Happy 18th birthday Austen, I love you, and with my last breath, I will wrap up a special present for you: liberty.
And just so you all know, Dad got Austen a Toyota Prius.