I shared my very first nest with the guy on the right, my twin brother. Thinking of you today, Charlie.
These are my dear parents (plus farm animal). He’s 92 , she’s 93. They’ve been married 66 years. When the last of us was born (that would be me), they had six kids under the age of eight, including two sets of twins. I’m pretty sure that’s why my Dad recently said to me, “Trust me, you’re gonna have a great time with the kids gone.”
That’s her, clipping into her cross country skis after the weekend storm with her beloved Welsh Cocker, Star, at her heels. It was one of the two outings she made that day between church, whipping up cole slaw with hearts of something, stoking an uncooperative fire and cooing over her crush, Rafa Nadal. She’ll probably hate that I’m writing this about her but that’s too bad. She’s an incredible woman and I’ve been blessed to have her as my mother-in-law for (yikes) twenty-seven years.
How old is she? She wouldn’t care if I told you, but all I’ll say is…
We should all be so young.
If you read Sam’s birthday memory, you’ll know that when Quinny was small, he couldn’t make the “th” sound. So, “three” always sounded like “free.”
We never mentioned it to him. In fact, until I was following him up a jungle path one spring afternoon, I had no idea that he knew anything was amiss.
But as we trekked up from Secret Beach, I overheard him quietly repeating to himself the single phrase. “I’m three.”
Only he said it like this: “I’m threee. I’m THHreee. I’m THHHHREEE!!!”
He was, in fact, four.
But he had just then figured out, with pride and joy, how to say “three”.
There is something almost unbearably sweet about this memory for me. Something about that little four-year-old, all by himself, recognizing and working a problem. And something about me getting so lucky that I got to be there, listening in, when he solved it.
Happy Birthday, Quinny. You’re my pride and joy.
Nineteen years ago my son, Quinn, toddled up to me and said, “I’m free, Daddy.”
I was amazed that he was so politically aware at such a young age, so I launched into a short speech that I thought would provide relevant information for his run at the White House. “That’s right, Q-ball, you ARE free because you live in a democratic society where all men are equal under the law and able to pursue…”
I blathered on for a good couple of minutes, citing various storied parchments.
When I finished it wasn’t exactly a blank stare that came back at me. His big blue eyes seemed to say “That was interesting, but a little off topic.” Steering the conversation back on course he said…
“And next year I’ll be four!”
Well, my sweet son, next year is here.
Happy 22nd birthday.