My little girls
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
Lately I’ve been explaining my letters to you to a lot of people. They’re curious about why and how I thought to do this. My explanation has usually been along the lines of:
“oh, you know, I’m going on 40. It’s not a midlife crisis, but the reality is, I’m half way home. I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wondering what my kids will know about me one day – when I’m old and they’re grown. Not just that I left a 7:45am for work and came home at 6:15pm and then we played for a little while. And sometimes on the weekends I did triathlons. But the real stuff. Who I was. What I thought.”
I think that explanation is accurate, but it’s not entirely true and as I think about it today it’s a little self serving.
I moved my desk recently at work and came across a lot of old pictures. My desk is covered in pictures of you kids and mommy, but as you’ve grown I’ve stowed the older pictures away, replacing them with newer ones. Cleaning out my desk and cabinets, I came across this picture of you, Izzy:
My heart melted the same way it did when I first saw you 8 years ago. As I glanced around my desk I began to realize how fast time goes. While I’m fighting to stay young, noticing more grey – more age in my face – every day, you’re growing up. I noticed you laying in your bed this morning as I headed out at 5:15 for a swim – you’re getting so tall. My baby in the picture above is growing up:
It happened so fast. I’m holding onto the moments more tightly now.
Kate, as I looked through old pictures of your sister I started coming across pictures of me and you – and the same pride, dampened only slightly by sadness, sank in on me:
We started here – in the NICU – me desperate to hold you as you fought to grow
And you got stronger and came home
and eventually grew your signature curly-cue hair
This is us on vacation last week. Falling asleep in my arms is still a regular occurrence and I try not to miss my chances. Izzy, once in awhile you fall asleep in my arms, but it happens less and less these days. I miss that. It started to happen less around the same time that I became “Dad” instead of “Daddy” and now that Max and Kate have started calling me “Dad” occasionally I feel my heart ache – just a little, because I know they’re growing up too.
Here’s my promise to you girls – to you too, Max: I’ll never stop wanting to hold you close to me.
So, back to thinking about “why” I started this blog. It’s not about telling you who I was when you were little. That’s important. But it’s about telling you – every way I know how, how much I love you now and I loved you when you were little.
On a lighter note, I’m pretty excited today. I had a long phone conversation and interview with Andy Potts this morning. Such a nice guy. His kids were playing in the background while we talked. I’ll be introducing you to him soon.
I love you kids (Max, I’ll write a letter like this to you soon, I promise),
Mon: Biked 45 miles
Tues: Swam 1000 yards
Wed: Ran 5 miles
Thurs: Swam 1500 yards
Friday: Swam 1800 yards / Ran 5 miles
I’m doing the Harpeth River Ride metric century tomorrow morning, so I’ll tell you all about that next week.