Saturday, March 26, 2016

Where in the World Will My Children Go?

Those where the days of racing a tricycle down the sidewalk when dad would drive off in his brown step-side pickup to work a double shift at the steel mill, sitting at the little red, white, and blue plastic table set with mom as we’d sample the coffee that he left behind, and playing on a mound of dirt with die-cast cars and our German Shepherd laying at my side. What I remember most is thinking that I just wanted to grow up. As I remember it, I didn’t like being a child. 

These days are better. 

The best part of life has been watching my own children reach toward being adults. I hope childhood isn’t passing too slowly for them… contrary to what most people say, there is nothing I anticipate more than seeing my kids reach adulthood. I want to see them tackle life, gain skills, experiences, and engage the world. I love the possibilities that are in front of them and I see them beginning to explore the periphery, as their vision gets stronger. 

They have such fascinating timelines. Caleb as our genetic child carries with him some of our best and worst tendencies. He has equal parts of our virtues and our neurosis. We’re doing our best to equip him to go far beyond our own reach. I am eager to see him launch off into far away places, travel, and a thirsty pursuit of life. Anything you pursue with passion will be yours.

Aleksandra, oh how you’ve exceeded my expectations! You’re a straight A student… that surprised me! I should have known better because your tenacity and iron will have always delivered you to your desired outcomes. But… then again, you surprise me often with your pursuits of basketball, soccer, baking, debates, and even a fierce entrepreneurial spirit. You are the full package and a true beauty.

Sterling, the girl who beat the odds and enjoys life more than anyone I know. Everything is a curiosity, every face is a potential smile, and every day is beautiful. I’ve never seen anything change who you are. You are light for this world. 

Being your parents is certainly the best part of all that we do. I’ve carried you all from such far, far away places. You all find commonality in the fact that your mother and I have displaced all three of you from the land of your birth! I blame that on my own inner unrest. I’ve always wanted to see beyond the sidewalks and dirt-mounds of familiarity. 

I have these visions of the three of you growing up and living in separate regions of the earth: Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. I imagine that your mother and I will just migrate from place to place like gypsy parents sojourning to see their offspring. Of course, I’m wise enough to know that this probably means that you’ll move to town I was born in and all settle in a cozy cul-de-sac… and you’ll write about how you long to settle down and live together with your children racing tricycles and playing on dirt mounds. 

You’ll think the jokes on me… and then your kids will want to know what all Grandma and Grandpa did… and I’ll fill their minds with crazy stories… and take them to see the world.

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