It's pretty cool. My firstborn arrived 19 years ago today. Not quite two days ago (on our 23rd anniversary), my brother and his wife had their first baby. I had just turned 27 when Jesse was born; my brother is 48. I wonder what it would be like to have my first child now? I have so many more things going for me. I am for sure wiser and more comfortable in my own skin. I care much less about what people think about me. I probably have just as much energy as I did then.
But it occurs to me that so much of my self-confidence and wisdom comes from having kids, from being a parent for 19 years. So much of who I am is today is shaped by having been a mom for nearly two decades.
I think my brother and his wife are going to be fantastic parents. Kollman Henry is like this special surprise at the end of a long trail of grandchildren. My oldest niece is 31 with a child of her own, and our Duncan, now at 11, has been the youngest of the grandchildren until Koll Henry. Fortunately Koll Henry will have plenty of second cousins—the children of his first cousins—(or are they first cousins once removed?) around his age: Soren is just 2 months old, and Miles is about 6 months old. I love the thought of Christmas next year, when we can hopefully be surrounded by all these baby boys.
It was strange to wake up this morning knowing that our own birthday boy is 3 hours away at college. We've always made a big deal about birthdays in our house, and the day feels deflated without Jesse here. No cake, no presents, no delicious birthday meal. Just a quiet evening of algebra, chatting with friends, eating pretzels, checking emails.
Just think. My brother will be 67 when Koll Henry turns 19. And my Jesse will be 38. Probably they'll all be out there on Thanksgiving Day, playing their annual game of football. I like that thought.