All the pictures shared today courtesy of my daughter and her trip to the museum with her then boyfriend, now finance. It seems strange now, to be planning a wedding. To be thinking about the future as multiple families rather than only one. My wife and I got married 25+ years ago, in the front yard of my parent’s farm in Kirksville Indiana. We had already moved from Bloomington Indiana to Cincinnati Ohio. A year and a few months after we moved to Cincinnati our daughter arrived. She came to the world in the usual way. Arriving at Cincinnati’s University Hospital (if you have ever seen the Soap Opera General Hospital, the building they show at the beginning of the show’s credit, is the hospital she was born in.)
I won’t mislead and present an idyllic image of a perfect family. We are far from perfect. We’ve made many mistakes, all of us. But part of being a family, of growing up together is sticking together. Finding a common path and making sure everyone arrives safely. When we told my daughter about the impending arrival of the twins, she said: “I’m gonna be the best big sister, ever!” I think, in a moment when they weren’t frustrated with their sister if you asked the twins were she, the answer would be yes. I have pictures in the family history project of her holding both of them as babies and feeding them. Not just holding them as a placeholder for an adult, actually feeding both of them at once as a 5-year-old.
They always say that it is easy to raise a daughter until it isn’t easy. The same is true of twins; it is hard to raise twins until it isn’t hard. I can tell you that is true. There is something about children growing up that is joyous and painful. Yes, I grumbled many times about staying up until 3 in the morning Christmas Day, to assemble the many, many 1000 plus piece toys purchased for my daughter and the twins over the years. I miss those days sometimes until I see how they are growing up. That they are becoming people with thoughts, dreams, and setbacks. I wish as I did when they were little that I could fix them all. Put a band-aid on the boo-boos and make them go away. But now, I can no longer do that. I have to let them fall sometimes.
I suspect you hear in my words a father’s joy and lament. They, the children, need us now in different ways. The journey has shifted, and the past is but dust on the mantle.