letters to the kids. // musing
I was there the morning your dad decided to break the news to everyone. I celebrated with him, and your mom. I helped paint the white walls of your nursery to a pale yellow because your mom hated the color pink. I was there to drive them to the hospital, because your mom wanted your dad in the back with her, and Isaiah wasn’t around. I had just gotten my driver’s license and couldn’t wait to jump in and save the day. I was there in the waiting room, giving Isaiah a play by play over the phone while he made his way through the worst traffic jam ever. I helped welcome you into the world and took the first picture of your parents as they held you with tears in their eyes—happy tears.
I was there the first time your dad made you laugh with some funny face he made, and my heart was almost as warmed as his was. Only almost though, because no one could ever be as happy as he was in that moment. I was there when your mom bragged to everyone about your first word – it was ‘mama,’ and she swore it was because you guys had a special connection. And I could tell, she absolutely meant it. I was also there when they needed help getting you through your first steps. Your dad and I would take turns holding your hands and helping you walk across the living room floor. Pretty soon, you were taking off on your own and running back and forth between us. I was there to see Casey tear up as he watched you go, and I wondered what it was like to create and love someone the way he obviously loved you.
I was there for; the first bike rides—with and without training wheels—the first swimming lesson, the first trip to the playground. I was there and I loved every second of it. I was so grateful for you, and all the light you brought into your dad’s life. I think you were the first person to teach him just how important unconditional love is.
To Jackson and Noah:
I was there the day, Jackson, your nursery was painted blue. Me, and your dad, and uncle Casey in the middle of your bedroom floor, brainstorming ideas on how to cover your walls with stars. We settled on ordering stickers from Amazon that were supposed to glow in the dark, and we ended up having to take them off because they kept you awake. I was there when he brought you home, and I swear to God you did nothing but sleep. Your parents watched you sleep and went on and on about what a good baby you were already. Isaiah had been so afraid when he first found out you were coming, but now he was trotting around like a pro. I’d never seen him so confident.
I was there in the living room when Ginger came out and announced Noah was coming. I watched your dad light up like a Christmas tree and pass out high fives because he just couldn’t wait to have a baby again. In two years. Watching Isaiah finally feel proud of himself and knowing it was all because of you two was something I lived for. I couldn’t wait until I would know what that felt like.
I was there when each of you got your names picked—me and Uncle Casey both, and we had naming parties because your mom loved that sort of thing. Your parents had never been happier together, and your dad had never been happier, period. Even in the tougher moments, you guys were the thing that gave him strength. Every single day, he found it in him to keep going, doing his absolute best to give you guys the world and it was because he had you guys to think about.