Today I want to write about two of my children. One of them is the oldest. The other is the youngest. One of them has dark hair and eyes, and is thoughtful and deliberate in his words and deeds. The other is strawberry blonde and stubborn and spontaneous. Both of them are well, well loved by their many, many friends. They are both endowed with a keen intelligence and a wisdom far beyond their years. They each spend a great deal of their time creating tasty morsels that feed the belly and the mind. They could hardly be more different from one another, but both make our family better with their being a part of it.
Andrew is a writer and a photographer and a student of philosophy. He is graced with a patience that humbles me. Some cultures believe that a photograph captures the spirit of its subjects. Andrew’s pictures are infused with the soul of the man behind the camera. His favorite subject is his bride. One doesn’t have to know Andrew more than five minutes to know how much he adores his wife. His smile lights up his entire face and spreads its joy to everyone he encounters. Andrew cooks and eats and moves through his day with careful concern for the whole human family. His goal is to take from the planet as little as possible and to give back as much as he possibly can. He is sensitive and punny and extremely intelligent. He is also one of the kindest people I know.
Katie is one of the hardest workers you will ever meet. She manages a restaurant with the grace and efficiency of someone with much more experience in life. She is a marvel as she satisfies her supervisors, employees and customers throughout an often more than 12-hour shift. Katie gives her all to those whom she loves. The ones she loves the most are her husband and her son. They are two of the happiest guys you will ever meet. Her smile has a hint of shyness about it, and her giggle is infectious. Katie can be tough and proud and determined, yet she is blessed with a sweetness and a tenderness that she doesn’t let everyone see. She is possessed of common sense and intelligence beyond what I think she realizes. She is beautiful and vivacious, and full of energy. She is an amazing mother. I am awed by this strong young woman.
Andrew and Katie add so much to our family. Andrew joined us when he married our daughter Alexandria. Katie became one of us when she and our son Nicholas were wed. They were brought up with different traditions and experiences than the children we raised. They must sometimes find our idiosyncrasies to be confusing and often, downright annoying. But they add more to our family than they’ll ever know. They earned my love just by making two of my children so happy, but, as I get to know them over the years, I’ve learned to love them for themselves, totally outside of their spouses.
They are incredible people, born to other mothers and fathers, but I’m proud to call them my own.