Their Cute When They’re Little

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Nothing can bring more joy or stress into a relationship than children. I still remember the pride I felt carrying Elizabeth (our first born) out of the hospital. I used the football carry I had learned in a prenatal class. It was great to be able to have her staring and usually smiling right back at me. Besides it felt manlier to say I was using the football carry. Something every prospective father needs to know is that you should never attempt fatherhood unless your masculinity is secure. After all, changing diapers, tending to owies, and going to the doll tea parties is part of the fun. It’s not just for women any more.

One thing to keep in mind when you decide to get married and have children is that they grow up. They are all cute when they are little. However, there will eventually come a day when your authority will be threatened in your own home. That’s right, they will become teenagers. If you survive that you can do almost anything. They are no longer cute and hanging on your every word. They think they are God’s gift to the world and must be freed to rule it.

When that same cute baby from the previous paragraph turned fifteen we were facing a move. All of a sudden Crystal and I were evil. We were taking her away from her friends and her life. Surely Ohio could not possibly offer anything like Indiana. Of course when there was no move in sight all she could do was complain about school, her friends and how she never got her way. I figured she could do the same thing in a new state.

One day we decided to take a little trip to a state park in Ohio. We rented a cabin for the week. We did a lot of former Elizabeth’s favorite things. Crystal took the girls horseback riding, we cooked out, and played games. There were even other kids around to play with. It wasn’t until we got in out bathing suits and rented a motor boat that it happened. I pulled into a deserted cove. I pulled the boat onto the shore and told the girls “OK everyone in the water.” At first they looked at me like I was crazy. I got a lot of that. Then I jumped in and took Lisa (about eight at that time) with me. Next Michelle (twelve) and Crystal. Finally, after a few minutes to make sure no one was watching, and we weren’t attacked by fish (or something), Elizabeth followed us into the water. Finally, we were just a family on vacation having fun. We splashed and played away the time. It was at that time, that Crystal and I knew that our little girl wasn’t gone; she was just hiding in her teenage identity.

Teenage rebellion aside, today Elizabeth, as a mother of four, is one of my favorite people. She is extremely family oriented, fun loving, a good wife, a very good mother, and a daughter of whom we are very proud.


In Honor of the Forth

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