On Winning the Kid Jackpot

Dalton, Dylan, Max, Andrew, Gideon, Adam, aka The Age: Male Gang (I said that they're awesome; I did not say that they aren't strange.)

I write a lot about my kids, don't I? Well, taking my own advice from last week, thank you for your patience as I write about them again. I am not sorry.

It is not a cancer fighter’s unique position to worry about their kids. It is universal. I may have different, possibly more intense worries than any of you, but probably no fewer of them.

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One of my dearest tell-it-like-it-is friends had her first baby on St. Patrick’s Day. I got to meet him and deliver his Kerry Blanket yesterday. As Jessi and I chatted about our sons and everything that could possibly go wrong with them in their lifetimes, she helpfully agreed with me that my two are pretty great. I wondered aloud the age-old question of how much I have had to do with their wonderfulness.

Welcome to the world, you perfect little boy.

Now, you should know that I’ve been conducting a years-long study of the quality of my children. Understanding that I am extremely partial, I like to collect stories from other people about their good and bad qualities and actions. So I have data to back me up when I tell you that they are faulted but good. 

Now that we agree on that fact, I ask again, how much did/do I have to do with it?

Also, what do my incredible friends and family have to do with it? Again, I don’t mean to be boastful, but I am one of the best friend-choosers that I have ever met. My kids are surrounded by a small number of family members who will drive across the country to be here for the first pitch of their baseball game, and a large number of family-like friends who will keep an eye on them and show up for them at a moment’s notice.

I have some thoughts about the things that I’ve done right, but mostly, I feel like I got great kids. And the skill of choosing great friends seems to be genetic, because, wow. They have some of the very best people on their team. From Max’s devoted-but-not-clingy girlfriend of 2 ½ years, to their football team who wore blue ribbons on the backs of their helmets for two seasons, to the table full of chicken devouring friends I watched with admiration from a separate table at the Windsor Station on Wing Night.

That's Megan. She rocks.

On Sunday morning, they’ll cook breakfast at church with several other friends who, while not in their social circles at school, are still trusted companions with whom they can share their faith, and probably at some point, their lack thereof.

Whether or not they realize it yet, Max and Dalton are going to need all of these people on a whole new level if/when this cancer does what they tell me that it's going to do. (I'm actually actively recruiting a few more members of this team at the moment, just to ease my mind and heart a bit more.) It's so comforting to know and trust that the people in their lives -- even the ones without frontal lobes -- are all in for them.

Colon Cancer sucks. Cancer sucks. Dying sucks. But there are a lot of people surrounding my kids and me who make this life pretty damn good. We are enjoying it. Thanks for coming along for this part of the ride.

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