Happy Birthday Ava! She wants to teach you a lesson.


Today is July 3rd 2013. My daughter Ava is five today. Happy birthday.

Her birth was a fun story.

July 1st

It was July first 2008. Sarah Denny lived with us at the time. The three of us were sitting in our back yard. It was a sunny day. The baby wasn’t due for six weeks.

Becky started feeling contractions. Sarah and I were were laughing saying that the doctor was wrong. “The baby is coming today” we joked. Becky was in disbelief. She thought there was no way the baby would come that early.

We had a white patio table in our back yard. As we sat there Sarah wrote on the table with a pencil the exact time of each contraction. Six minutes aprt. Five minutes. Uh oh!

Becky calls her doctor. Off to the hospital we go!

I floored it. I made some illegal passes on the way. We made it safely.

We were there for a long time. “False alarm” says the doc. Come and see me tomorrow.

July 2nd

Sarah Denny and I had a radio show in Ludington Michigan. We had a show scheduled on the 3rd at 2:30 in the afternoon with Lars, Orville and the rest of the gang. Sarah took off on the morning of the 2nd. She was going to stay there for the weekend and hang with friends and family. I was going to meet her there.

Becky had a doctor appointment early afternoon. We go. The doc says, “False alarm. The baby ain’t going to be here for six more weeks. I want you to rest until this baby comes.” Thanks doc.

On the car ride home I told Becky that I wasn’t going to Ludington. Sarah and the gang can take care of the show. But she insisted that I go. The plan was that I would leave after dinner, spend the night in Ludington, do the show, then drive home right after it. Ludington is a five to six hour drive depending on how many stops you make.

We arrive home from the doc. The plan is in place. But Becky did something she normally wouldn’t do. She made a last second decision to go with me! She had a rough pregnancy and was getting cabin fever. She wanted out. She figured, I’ll sleep in the car and just enjoy the wonderful accommodations at the Inn at Ludington. Kathy is a great host. Besides, this baby ain’t coming out for six more weeks.

It was almost 5 P.M. She arranges a babysitter for Anna who was 13 at the time. We throw our stuff in the car and hit the road by 6. We arrived at the Inn 1 A.M eastern time. Kathy welcomes us. She shows us to our room. We hit the sack.

July 3rd

“Oh my God, Oh my God” were the words that woke me up at 5 A.M. “My water broke!”

“Oh my God” was right.

We wake up Kathy. She sends us off to Ludington hospital. It was only a few blocks away thankfully. Becky was very nervous. We were far from home and her doctor.

It was a rough delivery. Touch and go for a while. Nine hours of labor.

But it turned out great. Ava was born at 2:00 in the afternoon, Thursday, July 3rd, 2008.


The doctor cleans her off. Puts her in my arms. Thank God. Momma embraces her baby girl. I kiss momma. Then momma says to me, “Go to work.” I knew what that meant.

So I walk out of the hospital. Walk across the street to WKLA. I walk into the station. I take my seat behind the mic. “You’re on the air.” That’s right! Ava was born just in time so we could get the work done!

That’s how the Sheridan family rolls. Git’er done!

Ava’s Lesson

Now it’s five years later.


I was at my parents house with Ava on Sunday June 30th 2013. It was an absolutely perfect day. Upper 70s, sunny, and a perfect breeze. We sat in the back yard the whole afternoon. My parents have a nice yard with perfect landscaping. My Father is as passionate about keeping the outside of the house immaculate as my Mother is about keeping the inside. They have a beautiful Red Maple tree in the middle of the yard.

We sat for hours listening to old time radio. The radio was just a backdrop to the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves of that beautiful Red Maple. That is my favorite sound in the world! We sat there reminiscing about family and friends we have loved and lost. We occasionally looked up into the sky at airplanes that took off from O’Hare. We guessed where each one may be going.

As I sat back in my lawn chair, I marveled at God’s creation. The conversations my Parents and I had were making me think about all the people God created. Each life that was lived. Those who were still living. Each person on the airplane above us. How I long for the day when mortality will be swallowed up by life! God hasten the day!

Then dinner time. It was Five-O-Clock sharp! My mother made the most amazing roast with carrots, onions and peas. The best I ever had. We filled our plates. I made Ava’s. Then we all sat down and took our first bites into the mouth watering meat. Amazing.

Then Ava spoke up.

“Wait a minute. We didn’t thank God for this.”

“Ok, Ava. I’m sorry” Grandma said.

Ava closes her eyes, folds her hands, and says, “Father, thank you for this food, and thank you for Jesus. Amen.”

I taught my kids to keep it short! But to keep it nonetheless.

Be Thankful

In Genesis 43:11 we read this: “And their father Israel said unto them…take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels…”

In the narrative, Jacob is sending his sons to Egypt. He tells them to take the best fruits of the land as a gift for the king. In the Companion Bible there is a marginal note on the phrase, “the best fruits in the land”:

Hebrew “the praise of the land”. Figure of speech Metonymy (of the Cause). “Praise” put for the choice fruits which called forth the praise.

I like that. The choice fruits which called forth praise. Ava reminded us of that as we sat their enjoying that choice roast! That was a delicious meal that we should thank God for.

The world really only has one problem when you think about it. Only one. Paul in Romans said that the root cause of every problem is not glorifying God as God and not thanking Him.

It’s not that hard. A five year old can do it. So can you. Take a lesson from Ava.

Happy birthday my little girl. I’m thankful for you.


5 Replies to “Happy Birthday Ava! She wants to teach you a lesson.”

  1. Happy Birthday Ava! Wishing you lots of love, happiness and fun in your next year!
    Congrats, Dan & Becky, with your precious daughter!

  2. This is beautiful! Nice story, Dan and thanks for the reminder, Ava! I love her too, my little karaoke baby….Happy Birthday Ava!
    Love, Auntie Julie

  3. Good Memories! Come on back we’ll make some more…memories
    A drive up to the ferry boat is Not that far. I’ll take it from there!
    Call me…

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