This photo is a perfect picture of four little personalities! It was taken at my sister Gwen’s wedding in Santa Cruz, California in the early 1990s (sorry, Gwen, I don’t remember the year!). From left to right, the kids are: Ben Finnegan, Nate Stanley, Myka Hanson and Tim Finnegan. Ben and Tim are my nephews, and Myka is my niece. (Nate is the son of dear friends who lived in community with my brother’s family, so was an honorary nephew back then, though its been more than a decade since I last saw him.)
Ben, looking sure of himself and copping an attitude; Nate hanging back a little; Myka smiling sweet as can be; and Timmy looking every inch the scrawny kid with the colt legs – a distance runner in the making.
They’re all grown up now. I remember thinking, when they were young, that I needed to cherish that time because they would grow up and lose that specialness that nieces and nephews have in the eyes of their aunts. What was I thinking?! I needed to cherish the time, as adults do with children, because childhood is fleeting. Not because anything would be lost – in either their specialness or my love for them – as they became adults. In fact, they may be some of the best adults I know. Definitely some of the people I most enjoy being with.
Which brings me to the reason I picked this picture for today’s flashback. In a little more than two weeks, every member of my family will be in the same place at the same time – something that has never happened before (considering that I’ve yet to meet little Adeline Bell, Ben’s daughter)! I cannot believe this amazing Christmas gift – and I plan to be as present in every moment of our time together as possible! (And don’t worry – Rachel, Hallie, Atalie, Zoe, Emma and Ada – you’ll likely show up here soon, too!)