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I am a believer that every single person in God’s creation possesses a gift.  Albeit some possess a smaller portion than others, but yet all are gifted in some way.  The Chicago Cubs are an example of the “smaller portion” rule, for instance.  Five year old prodigies wow the world with amazing piano performances, a frumpy Susan Boyle walked out on stage to blow us away with an angel’s voice, Michael Jordan showed the world an almost otherworldly combination of physical gift and competitive fire, Albert Einstein demonstrated the power of a mind wired to think outside of the box.  As a parent, I have always been excited to observe each of my children, the great and small gifts they demonstrate.  It truly is a pleasure to see.

I have been told I have the gift to annoy, a compliment I always enjoy hearing.

One of the reasons I enjoy watching my children is seeing a bit of myself in each of them.  Their gift often comes from a passion they picked up from me or from Miriam.  Nate plays the guitar, loves to play the guitar, a joy developed from watching Miriam.  Alyssa loves to read, to create through the written word, at least in some part from watching me over the years.  She likes the stage, is comfortable there, watched me ham it up in sketches when she was a young child.  Our children have learned from watching their parents, have discovered what may become a gift from our influence.

What ability did I pick up from my own father?  The inate ability to snooze. 

If there were a nap Olympics, my dad would have a vault full of gold medals.  The guy can fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  Gifts come from passion and my father savors a good nap like Michael Jordan gets a rush from a monster dunk shot.  I dare say that Dad could nap in the middle of a freeway at rush hour if he found a recliner in the median.  I have always been in awe of his gift for Z.  The man is a true marvel.

I discovered that I possess my father’s gift while in college, perfecting the power nap in between classes, recharging in five or ten minute visits to the sandman.  Whether the padded chair in the back corner of the college library or the lounge couch, I would be in deep REM sleep before my head hit the cushion.  No alarm clock was needed, my internal clock the only timepiece I needed.  A ten minute nap was just enough to recharge, anything longer too much and left me groggy.  Dad is and was the same way.

To this day I relish a good power nap.  Different than my younger days, I actually require a daily siesta, usually that same ten minute nap, sometimes fifteen minutes.  During the work day, I reach a point around 2:30 in the afternoon where I can no longer function until I get that recharge, my brain craving the rush of pure sleep.

Yes, snoozing is a rush.

When I am in bike commute mode, the afternoon power nap can be difficult to obtain.  Unlike my dad, I can not sleep in the middle of a busy freeway.  I need my privacy.  When I drive to work, I simply take a walk out to my car, pull a blanket out of my backseat, and pass out for 15 minutes.  When I don’t have that option, I have to find an empty conference room, curl up on the floor under a table.  Some day I am going to wake up with a meeting going on around me.

I return to my desk and usually find that I am ready to finish the work day on a productive note.  The nap always does the trick.

Thanks, Dad, for passing on the gift.