A Birthday Double-header

On this day four years ago, a baby boy and a baby girl entered our family and changed our world for the better. Today is the birthday of my niece and nephew. I still remember the slightly rainy day on which they were born. (It was further proof that rain is lucky.) I’d worn a bow tie to work in celebration, but the moment I saw them bound tightly in their blankets, all fashion concerns faded, and my focus shifted to something more important.

In the ensuing four years, they have grown and grown, and so have the people they have touched. Everyone always said that once I got to know kids that were directly related to me, who had a connection to my life, my reticent disdain for children would disappear. I’m happy to report that I remain equally unexcited by children, for the most part, and these two gleaming exceptions prove the rule.

They are the wonder and light of our world, bounding around from new experience to new experience, revealing the simplest joys in a day, and reminding me that the most important thing we can give to each other is love.

They’re also a reminder of the ever-quickening march of time. Four years has passed in a flash, and we speed ahead leaving the baby days behind. I want to slow it down, to savor each moment with them. They’re probably too big to be pulled in their Radio Flyer red wagon anymore – one of my favorite things to do with them – but now they can walk around the block by my side. It won’t be the same, but it will still be good.

As I watch them navigate their way through the world, I realize that they’re not the only ones still growing up.

Happy Birthday, Noah and Emi! Your uncles love you.

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