Last night, I stood in our tiny kitchen and sliced pizza. All nine of the kids were in the kitchen, ready to pounce. Obviously, it wasn’t the first time I’ve been in a room with all nine kids, but something struck me about the moment. Remember this. The feeling must have been contagious. Beatrix jumped into Aidan’s arms and clung to her like a baby orangutan. The two of them giggled. I said it wouldn’t be long before Beatrix launching herself onto Aidan would be a thing of the past. I was purely thinking about Beatrix being too big. If anything, it would be comical, not impossible.
But Aidan had other ideas.
I took a few pictures of my girls. She put Beatrix down and sighed. “Ollie isn’t going to remember me.”
I asked what she meant.
“In less than two years, I’ll be away at college. He won’t grow up with me in the house. I’ll just be someone who visits! He’s going to be like, Who is Aidan?” I assured her that wouldn’t be true. Of course, he would know her and love her. But yeah.
He is going to grow up with a very different relationship with Aidan than Ryley. He was born when Aidan was 18 months old. They’ve been together since baby days.
Oddly, the thought of Aidan becoming an occasional visitor to Ollie never occurred to me. He will probably be closer in age to her children than to her. But, they’ll have their own unique bond forged out of absence, joyful hugs, absence, correspondence, absence. They will never fight over who got the bigger cookie or fiercely debate who gets to be Player 1.