Friday, August 21, 2015

A Moment in Time, Part 1

This is us. The Ken and Katie Craig Family. This is a #familyselfie taken last Sunday, on the eve of mine and Katie’s 20th anniversary. We took it to capture a very precise moment. A moment that is fleeting. A moment that I wish were more...still.

It’s the last moments of having my family all under one roof. And I kind of love this moment.

Don’t get me wrong. I am super excited for my oldest, Abbie, who will move into her dorm room on Saturday, the 29th. (Go Cougars!) I believe in her, and I have all the confidence that she will take over the world and create the greatest happiness in her life. And I want her to do that. That’s what Katie and I had in mind 18 years ago.

But that ushers in a whole new era. The era where most of my very favorite people and best friends start to not live with me anymore. Yes, you’re correct, it will be 17 years before that era ends. And yes, I’ll be 60 years old by then, and yes, whenever I think about that, it makes me kind of want to take a nap. But yes, our family dynamic is permanently changing, and my feelings about it are all over the place.

Abbie speaking at her graduation. And Hillary offering moral support. 

Speaking of emotional moments, August has provided a bumper crop of them at the Craig house. The first being the fact that Abbie turned 18. Katie and I both spoke at a graduation ceremony we held for her in our backyard, and I - because I apparently like to fall apart in public - took the opportunity to read and give Abbie a letter I had written to her just two days after she was born. After I wrote it I had then put it away with the idea I would give it to her "some day." And that day turned out to be on her 18th birthday.

I won't post the entire letter, but here is an excerpt.

August 10, 1997

Dear Abbie,

I wanted to let you know some of the things that I felt prompted to bless you with when you were given a name and a blessing on August 10, 1997. I don’t know why. I guess I just figured that at some point in your life you may be a little curious as to my impressions of you when I only knew you for a couple of days. I mean besides the fact you were the cutest baby ever sent to this or any planet.

It’s funny. By the time you are old enough to read this, and maybe appreciate it, I will seem like a pretty old guy to you. But if you could see me now, writing this. I feel so young and naive and unsure of my abilities to be a good dad. To be a good parent. I haven’t learned enough about the whole thing to be wise or even knowledgeable. But I’m not scared. I love you so much, I think that will drown out the insignificant mistakes, and maybe even some big blunders.

I blessed you to be a light to those you come in contact with. Even though I have only known you for a short while, I sense your personality is one of this nature. One of the greatest gifts we can have in this life is charity. The way we treat others means everything. To be able to lift others by being yourself is a great accomplishment and it means having the Spirit with you.

I love you very much. I’m glad I’m your dad.

I never would have imagined fatherhood to be what it has been these last 18 years. I am a better person because I get to be Abbie's dad. She is a light to those who know her – including, and maybe especially, to her family. She loves goodness. I have always appreciated the way she assumes the best about me. It makes me want to be better.

I will miss her being present in our home everyday. I will miss her piano playing being in the background of Sunday afternoons. I will miss her telling detailed stories of daily events. I know Katie will miss her being her right-arm. But we are so, so excited for her. This is really her moment, too.