This is the archive of version one, made in 2006, launched in 2007, and active until 2012. It’s archived to preserve the original design and its content that was referenced in multiple posts, books and galleries. There’s a holding page before the new site arrives.

/ log / 5th Nov, 2007 /

Happy Birthday Son

Today my eldest son is four years old. As he disappeared out of the door to nursery just now, he ran back to me as he does every day when I’m around to see him off, for a kiss and cuddle.

Often times, in the middle of playing with Lego or, like this morning, watching him figure out a Transformer, I’ll be drawn into moments of quiet happiness. A spiritual kind of clarity where the presence of him close to me washes away all else. Of course, the next minute, I’m being assaulted by a laughing maelstrom of mischief, complete with our own language like “meatsies” for feet, and “shmambling” for climbing (usually on me.)

As his great–grandmother said not so long ago, kindness is the most precious of human characteristics. He has it in bags. No matter what else I do in this life, I doubt that anything could make me feel more proud or at peace than him, or his little brother. I’m the audience and stage hand to them, and nothing makes me more happy. As Kahil Gilbran said in The Prophet:

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

I’m honoured to be your guide, son. Happy birthday!


Browse More Articles


  1. 1. By Chris Shiflett on 5th Nov ’07 at 13:46pm

    Hi Jon, wish him a happy birthday for me. :-)

  2. 2. By anima on 5th Nov ’07 at 17:43pm

    Happy birthday to your son! :)

  3. Jon 陳’s profile 3. By Jon 陳 on 6th Nov ’07 at 08:42am

    Thanks Chris! I did so. I think he remembers the voice all too well. :)

    Hi Pria—thanks for the wishes, and the citation, too.

  4. 4. By dotjay on 9th Nov ’07 at 05:39am

    Hope he had a great day! I did. :)

Comments for this entry are closed.

Lately in the Log

  1. Anakin Tue, 26th Jun 2012 {4}

    I’m pleased to be able to say that Analog is joining forces with…

  2. We, Who Are Web Designers Mon, 19th Sep 2011 {66}

    In 2003, my wife Lowri and I went to a christening party. We were friends…

  3. Ampersand, the Aftermath Wed, 22nd Jun 2011 {3}

    The first Ampersand web typography conference took place in Brighton last…

  4. Design Festival, The Setup, and Upcoming Posts Mon, 20th Jun 2011 {0}

    Wow, this has been a busy period. I’m just back from the Ampersand…

  5. Web Design as Narrative Architecture Wed, 30th Mar 2011 {12}

    Stories are everywhere. When they don’t exist we make up the…

  6. Ides of March Tue, 15th Mar 2011 {4}

    My friend and colleague, Chris, has shared a spiffing idea, the Ideas of…

Remarks from the log

  1. By pixelangry in We, Who Are Web Designers:

    Unfortunately, here in Italy, the figure of the web designer is seen as a figure who plays a nerd on the computer,…

  2. By George in Copywriting, Experience Design, Daleks & Julio:


  3. By Martins in Typeface != Font:

    Great post Jon, I stumbled across it by chance on Google..!!

  4. By DarkStar in Smoothing out the Creases in Web Fonts:

    I agree with Leicester that table is great!

  5. By Martin Varesio in Ampersand, the Aftermath:

    His dry, droll, richly-flavoured delivery was a humorous counterpoint to some controversial asides…

  6. By Steve Blakeborough in Display Type & the Raster Wars:

    Hi Jon, In Elliot’s recent and informative article he suggested you might be bullied…

Live the questions and one day grow into the answers.