On Saturday, March 27th, our oldest child, Henry turned NINE YEARS OLD. I put that in caps because I do not know how that is possible.
I vividly remember driving to Muscatine from Rock Island for the birth class that was held at UnityPoint. The class was led by a nurse named LuAnn (whose last name I cannot remember) who would later give my wife and me the best advice, but I’ll get to that in a minute. I’m convinced that no one is ever truly ready to become a parent. Sure, you can read all the books and watch all the videos, but when you get asked, “cut the cord,” that’s when it becomes real.
Henry was born here in Muscatine, and I’ll be forever grateful to the caring staff at UnityPoint. On the day we were packing up to leave the hospital, LuAnn stopped in to talk to us. She told us, “a lot of people are going to try and tell you what to do, and you need to let it go in one ear and out the other.” That has stuck with me, and I hope that if LuAnn reads this column, she knows just how much I appreciate all that you did for my family.
So, Henry turns nine, is close to finishing third grade, and I’m trying to figure out how to slow things down. Some people have given me a hard time because I have stated that 2021 will be the last year that I DJ events like weddings, but I have the best excuse, my family. You see, I don’t want to give up any more time away from them. Henry went from a newborn to nine in the blink of an eye, which means the same thing will happen to Theo (six) and Lucy (two). I don’t want to have any regrets when they’re older and wondering why dad had to miss (insert event/activity).
As I’ve gotten older, I also like being at home doing nothing. Even if that means hanging out watching the kids jump on the trampoline or taking the dogs for a walk. The little moments will assemble a larger puzzle of memories and experiences that I don’t want to forget or miss out on. I’ve already missed a lot in their lives, and that stops once this year ends.
Last week, I attended a luncheon on housing presented by the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine. I was seated at a table with Gage Huston from MP&W, Peggy Gordon with Allsteel, a city council member, and Frank Iliff with Rebuilding Together Muscatine County. I brought up Henry turning nine and how I couldn’t believe it, and Frank said, “I have a grandchild that is about to turn 20. Imagine how I feel since I could have sworn I was just holding a baby last week.”
To quote a line from a Steve Miller song, “Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future.” Happy birthday to Henry. Thank you for making me a dad, and here’s to continuing making memories right here in Muscatine.