Thursday, August 11th, 2011
There have been more than a few people who were surprised when they learned that I am not married to a girl in her early 20′s; instead I am only three months older than she is. Today, my wife Jill turns 30 years old.
We were both born in 1981, graduated high school in 1999, and had our first child in 2010. Not only is my wife my best friend, but we have experienced the same amount of living. In 2007 when we started dating, our timelines became one as we have shared our lives together ever since.
For our first dance at our wedding reception in 2008, we actually had two songs played back to back: “Everything” by Michael Buble was a more natural, understandable selection, which represented our “normal” sides. But we felt the need to also include a song that represented our mutual quirkiness, too. So we chose the weirdly beautiful, “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.
In “The Luckiest,” Ben Folds explores the idea of the importance of a shared timeline, answering the idea of what life would be like had the love of his life not been born in the right year:
“What if I’d been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?”
I imagine the statistical chances of the two of us being born in the same basic era of time, as opposed to decades or centuries apart. Instead, we were born in the same year and did find each other.
Jill and I have this plan to die naturally in our sleep while holding hands when we are 80 years old. Sure, we realize we have zero control over the previous sentence ever becoming true, but it’s how we’d like to think our shared love comes to an earthly end.
Speaking of, “The Luckiest” also addresses this issue:
“Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep.
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away.
I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong.”
The two of us are normal enough to play Michael Buble at our wedding reception for our first dance, but we’re also off-beat enough to play a Ben Folds song that talks about the “luckiness” of being born in the same time era, as well as, dying near the same time in old age.
I’m aware of my natural ability to be weird and abstract. But somehow that worked for me and my wife chose to spend her life with me. To quote Ben Folds one last time:
“I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you… I am the luckiest.”
Happy Birthday Jill!
Categories: Growing Up, Nostalgia, People, Storytelling | Tags: 1981, 1999, 30 years old, 30th birthday, Ben Folds, daddy blog, marriage, Michael Buble, The Luckiest, wife
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
From everything I had heard about a new mom and dad’s first night away from their baby, we were supposed to be constantly distracted, wondering if our son was okay. That every hour we would call in, checking on him. That the quality of our time together would be compromised by the thought of something going wrong back home, feeling helpless as Jack’s parents that we couldn’t provide the best care because we weren’t physically there.
And maybe that would have been the case. But we were blessed in that from December 2010 up until about ten days ago, we lived near family. That’s why our version of our first night away from our son was nothing like the preconceived ideas explored in the first paragraph.
As mentioned in my bio (featured right), my wife and I are “bed and breakfast people.” A lot of the time, our gifts for each other are a trip a few hours away to a typically unheard of place where there is a B&B that received good reviews online. This was the case for my 30th birthday on April 20th, 2011. Since our son Jack was born five months earlier on November 16, 2010, we had not yet spent a night away from him.
While in Alabama for those eight months, we had lived only a few miles not only my parents but also from my sister and her husband. My parents were more than eager to keep Jack for the night, and of course my sister and her husband were there hanging out and helping most of the time too. Meanwhile, my wife and I were three hours away in a town called Dahlonega, Georgia. (Pictured below.)
We enjoyed the laid-back environment of the B&B, the exploration of a new town, and the adventures of visiting a new winery as well as Cabbage Patch Kids “Babyland.“ I am not ashamed to say that we never called to check in on our son. Because in the care of my family, we never had any doubts. It was some much needed rest for us both. In particular, for my wife, it was literally the first night she had in many months to actually be able to sleep through the entire night. (Our son was not yet sleeping through the night at that point.)
You can’t put a price tag on living near family. However, you can put a price tag on the cost of living versus the amount of income lost by moving to a small town where there just aren’t as many appropriate jobs to go around.
In addition to the invaluable life lessons we learned, another priceless benefit is that we were able to share Jack with my family during this whole time. I try to imagine how different that not only the stories but also the pictures would be in my Dadabase posts if we had never moved away from Nashville.
The content of the past eight months would be completely different. Instead, the stories have been forever documented and told with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law in the midst of it all. Even though we won’t be able to watch Jack grow up in the same town as my family as we had planned, we will always have these stories and pictures to remember. Not to mention, we only moved two and half hours away. While that may be too far for a visit during the week, it’s not a bad drive for a weekend trip.
I know things won’t be able to be the same as they used to, regarding how close we’ve lived to my family. But I have a feeling things won’t be that different, either. Because you can’t put a price tag on family- no matter how close or far away you live from them.
Above picture: My sister and her husband holding their daughter and my son.
Top picture: My parents holding both of their grandchildren.