Twenty-nine years ago yesterday, my twins, Susan and Jeremiah, were born at the OSU Hospital in Columbus. If things go according to plan, Susan will have her third baby in December. Jeremiah and Misty’s first is working on her fourth tooth. That will complete the working set in the front, which gives her much greater capability to interact in a variety of interesting ways with her environment.
As I reflect on my life since November 4, 1984, it’s hard to fix a notion of time.
In some ways, it seems that the twins should still be able to climb up on my lap, one on each leg, and sit there while I rock them. It seems like I should still be able to look out the window and see them playing on the swing set. It seems like I must have just turned for a moment and they were grown.
In other ways, it seems that they should be rocking their own grandchildren by now. So much has happened, so much has changed. This is the eighth house in which I have lived since their birth. I’ve worked for seven different employers in four different states. I’ve buried a stepchild, my second father-in-law, my father and numerous friends. We’ve been active participants in at least half-a-dozen different wars. We’ve seen at least three recessions, elected several presidents and a trash basket full of other politicians. The character of the nation has changed, its population altered and an emerging polarization of paralysis. Surely, 1984 was a hundred years ago.
I remember the long, late hours of colic that seemed to last for months when the twins were small. I remember the tree climbing and tee ball games. I remember the agonies of years of frustrations and separation. I remember the slow, healing processes of reconciliation. I remember the joys, the pains, the wounds, the delights, the pride, the hope, all of those things that go into sharing the lives of our children.
I know that affection is not earned and that sharing is a choice. It is a choice that carries both risk and reward. Just ask God.