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Dear Noah, Lucas, and Jack,

Your mom almost choked to death within 5 minutes of meeting me. We sat down at our table and began talking about life and her nagging cough got the best of her. Your mom’s eyes started to tear up and she turned beet red. I thought to myself, “Great. Your first date in years and she’s going to die at the dinner table.” Thankfully your mom triumphed over her phlegmatic struggles and we were able to move our conversation on. Lesson 1: Keep a cool head and don’t panic.

Your mom was a vegetarian back then and I’m assuming she’s since seen the light and become an omnivore by now. She ordered a salad and I had a salad as well. Ordering food with a lady is always an art form, boys. Never order over her on the first date. Lesson 2: learn the art of mirroring. Your mom has a quiet voice and a shy demeanor, at least at first. I didn’t sit through dinner speaking in my typical bombastic, bloviating manner. Instead, I brought the tone of my voice down and met your mom comfortably on her level. This leads to lesson 3….

Listen more than you speak. Your mom opened up about her youth in Brasil, even confessing to some shenanigans she pulled as a child, but more importantly, she let me into her soul. She opened up about her insecurities, her passions, her quirks and her goals. Listening to your mom talk about all these things made me quickly realize that we were going to be a strong couple. If you boys can find a girl who is willing to be open and honest with you, just sit back and enjoy it. Listen to her. Ask more questions and go deeper because shallowness never accomplishes anything.

We left dinner and had coffee together, which has since become one of our favorite past times. I left your mom that night knowing that there was tremendous potential for greatness. On my ride home, I played back every word she said, every phrase she used, every expression…and I loved it all. When you find a lady like that, you know you are in the presence of grace.

Let me tell you about what your dad did on our second date. It was an amazing risk…

More coming up on Monday at 1 PM. This story is too good and has far reaching applications that apply to everyone, not just my boys.

I’m not done yet…