Posts tagged Family
Parents joke around a lot about kids growing up, kicking them out into the world, etc… When the time comes for them to go, it’s just not as funny. It’s important, and it’s necessary … but it’s never easy.
Trish and I are blessed with a big family. We have Stephanie, Bill, Zach, Zane and Katie. Stephanie started pulling free three years ago. She’s on her senior year of college at Columbia College in South Carolina. Bill headed out last year to the US Navy, and he’s down in Georgia getting ready to sink beneath the waves on a submarine.
Now – tomorrow – Zach is following, heading off to Great Lakes, and boot camp, leaving another big empty room … shrinking the home front by a voice and a smile. There are things that we’ll be able to do as the house empties out that we could not do before, but the fact remains, it gets emptier each time.
I have known Zach the longest of any of the kids. He’s not the oldest, but I was there when he was born. I watched him grow up and then missed some of the most important years of his life – because that’s how it happens, sometimes, with families. Now he’s leaving again, but I know he’ll be back.
His brother Zane isn’t too far behind him – one year – then we get holidays and visits…their lives and families will expand outward. I hope we’ll stay a family that is close. I don’t want to be right up one another’s faces, but I want home to be just that. Home. For all of them. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want them to move back in …) I just want to know that when we are together, it will be a happy, important time for everyone and not a chore or a duty.
I can promise there will be pie…
And I’m not even ready to start thinking about Katie following them off into the sunset…with her we still have years. Really fast years that will dribble through our fingers, I know… But still, years.
You’ll understand this more later, Zach, but Fair Winds, and Following Seas from your Dad. Bill – we’ll see you soon, I hope. Stephanie will be here for Thanksgiving. Trish and Katie can hug me while I try to pretend none of it bothers me… I’ll miss you bud.
And I love you all…
To my best Father’s Day presents:
I wanted to take just a few moments to thank the five people who have made Father’s Day such a joy for me. I know I’m not a perfect father…but I try my best. I love my kids, and I love the woman I share my life with…some thoughts.
Thanks Bill. You’re the one who looked up to me, even when it seemed like you weren’t. You’re the one that followed my love of computers, learned to do web sites, and now, you’re following my footsteps into the US Navy. We haven’t always seen eye to eye, but I’ve always known I can count on you, and I hope you know, the same will always be true for you. Love you buddy, and you’ve made us proud.
Thanks Stephanie. You were my first daughter…and though I missed some of your life, I shared a lot of it. The first time we met, and I had to leave, I’ll never forget that you cried … and how it felt to know you cared. You’ve grown into a lovely young woman, talented, artistic, and always positive. You’re the smile in the family when – at times – everything else frowns. I’m proud to be part of your life.
Thanks Zach. You’re the one who has most shared my love of reading, and of places and things not real, but that seem better. You’ve grown up honest, and kind, and even though a big chunk of the years we should have shared got stolen, I’ll never forget the first half hour of your life, when I held you in the hospital and the stupid nurses forgot I had you. You’re doing great in school and looking to the future, and I couldn’t be prouder of you. Looking for you to turn the world of Physics on its ear…or at least to write the next great epic fantasy.
Thanks Zane. If Stephanie is the smile in the family, you’re the laugh. Like with Zach, a huge piece of the time that we should have shared got messed up. Through all of that, you remained a good kid, and grew into a talented artist, photographer, and guitar player. You and Bill shared that love with me too – the music. There are great things ahead of you, and I’m glad I still have some time to be part of it. You know I’m there when you need me…always will be.
Katie…we are all blessed to have you. Smart, pretty, and so loving – you’re the one that loves everyone here unconditionally…the one that is happiest when you are with your brothers, your sisters, your mom, and with me. You are like the knot that ties us all together, and you have an AMAZING group of brothers and sisters to look out for you through your life.
All of you…there isn’t anything I’ve done in my life more important than helping offer you guys up to the world. It’s what I’m proudest of – it’s what I hope I’ll be remembered for – it’s the thing that keeps me going. Your mom and I spend more time than you could imagine thinking about you, worrying over you, wishing and working for your futures.
Thanks for making this –and every Father’s Day – magic for me.
I love you all,