February 1984. We found out my wife, Diana, was pregnant. How did that happen?! Fast forward to October 12, 1984. Kira is born…and…BAM!! I am completely smitten by her. It’s like falling in love in a different way than I have ever fallen in love before. This has happened 4 times in my life. The first was Grad Night 1978. Within a month of that fateful date I’m asking Diana, “What would you think if I asked you to marry me?” Perhaps not the most romantic proposal, but at 17 years of age, who knows what romance is?! The second was when Kira was born. The third was my son, Ricky. And the fourth, as most of you know, was when my grandson, Jackjack, came to life.
But that first child changed everything. I got to know just how precious children are. I got to know just how much of a responsibility it is to care for them, to love them, to treasure them, to protect them. I got to know what a truly full heart feels like. And along the way I discovered that every baby I hold, every child I tease, every kid I quiz about his or her school or favorite video game, every wonderful hug I get fills my heart just a little. And every time it fills up, more room is added to ladle in more love.
In 1987 I earned my license to practice chiropractic in the state of California. The great thing about what I do is that I can make my practice look like anything I want. I wanted to incorporate children in it. But to do so I needed to learn alot more, and so I did. The Peter Pan Potential is a series of pediatrics training courses for chiropractors. The Pediatrics Council of the International Chiropractors Association offers a chiropractic diplomate program in pediatrics. I underwent a year of that particular training.
And right after that training patient zero happened, my son, Ricky. This is 1991 now, and Ricky the 2 year old has a raging left sided ear infection. Otoscopic evaluation of the right side is completely normal. Left side is red, bulging, angry. He’s crying. Fever. I had learned from Dr. Joan Fallon how to handle this, so I did just what she trained me to do, I adjusted the joint between the base of Ricky’s skull and his neck. No exaggeration, his left ear was completely clear and normal the next morning.
And from there it has gone on and on and on. Hundreds of kids, many on my wall, all a little or a perhaps alot healthier. They are fun to play with, fun to work with, and just a joy to be a part of their life.
But what always will mean the most to me is the moment when a parent hands over their greatest treasure, their child, to my hands, and demonstrates the ultimate trust in me to do what I think is best for their child. Each of these moments is the greatest honor of my life. Thank you.