My grandkids get to be her grandparents. Aunts and uncles and cousins.
Genevive is the first child we’ve ever had.
At 14 months she has two teeth. She also has three fingers and three toes.
She has a twin sister, who we call Genevieve.
She is the most fun person in the world. And she’s about to become an
incredible athlete. She can run a 5K in less than 10 seconds on a treadmill.
She can throw a snowball 70 feet.
Her doctor says there is absolutely no chance our daughter will have a
colon cancer, but, “it would be wonderful if we could find a way to avoid a
She can read. And write her name. And tell her friends her address. She is
going to be on the high school’s cross country team by the end of the year. We
will all be so proud of her.
She has two grandparents. My in-laws and my mom and dad. She’s not related to
my parents, but she’ll call them grandmother and grandpa.
When we first met, my parents said, “We’re so proud of you,” but they meant,
“We’re so proud of Evey.” They didn’t know the difference between the two.
They couldn’t tell them apart.
But Evey is smart, funny, and sweet. She’s the best thing that happened to my
parents when they first met.
She’s the only one in their house who can get in trouble but not get
It took her 2 years to speak first. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard
her say, “Mom,” “Dad,” or “I love you.” It’s like we’re twins. She knows all my
thoughts. I know hers. And we’re all good at holding a conversation. It’s like
Evey’s favorite colors are blue, purple, and green. She has three siblings.
She’s the baby of the family and the easiest child to care for. She’s very
sloppy about her routines. There are days where I’m the only one awake around
I’ve been there. Evey’s parents are the perfect example. They’ve had two
children, a mortgage, and bills to pay. They struggle to make ends meet.
One day Evey says, “That’s all we can afford to do.” And the next day she’s
asking me, “Can you make it a two-week deal?”
And then the next day she’s like, “Can you make it a three-week deal?”
And the next day she’s saying, “Can you make it a four-week deal?”
And she’s like, “I know I’m the baby. But I can do a lot of things.”
And I’m like, “You’re my only child. You’re my only child.” I have to be the
voice of reason. I have to.
Evey is a girl next door. She wants to help her grandparents plant
vegetables in their garden. She wants to work in her parents’ basement,
making their tools. She wants to do all the things they do but not as well.
And she wants to run. She will never grow up.
She has a twin sister who is also a girl. They play in the same sandbox. But
with an adult on each side. They hold hands and look at a fire truck. They
talk about the color pink.
Evey’s dad works at The Family Fund, which does a lot of environmental
works. And he loves Evey. He says, “I don’t know what I would do without her.”
My mom is a single mom. She works 12 hours a day and the rest of the time
she works on a farm. She helps her boyfriend in his business, and he helps her
with his business. They do it together because that’s all they know how to do.
I’m the oldest of six children. My job is to keep the family functioning. We
don’t have money. We have time to think about how we need to change our lives
into something better. We need to find a way to pay the mortgage. The food
stamps aren’t enough to pay the grocery bills.
I look at Evey and I say, “We’re going to fix this.” And I’m sure we don’t
have to. But we try because we’re going to need an adult in charge. We need to
be a model for our children. We have the choice to make it better or to
despair. And that’s what makes us human. That’s what makes us special. And if
we don’t make the best of what we have, we will always be waiting.
He will always be waiting.
Genevieve is about to graduate from a good college, have a career in computer
hacking, and start a business. Evey only has time to play and read about all
the things they do in her father and her grandparents’ houses. It’s not fair.
What’s the purpose of life if you never get to be a kid?
My dad is a man who looks at everything with his heart first. And he doesn’t
make excuses for anything, not even for his daughter. If our daughter does
whatever she wants, he loves her for who she is.
He says, “What’s it going to take to make all this stop?”
is a wonderful example of this in action. She wants to be a surgeon. But she
can’t figure out how to pay her tuition bill. So she works at Target to buy
Because of Evey, I had never been more proud than at my birthday party. All
these people have children. My friends with children are like me. They don’t
have kids. And every single person is a better human because of them.
And if you ask me, that’s exactly what my parents were trying to do for me.
He is an amazing man. And he’s going to be a great father to his kids.