Family and Friends.
You chose your friends and your family, well hopefully you are friends with them too.
I am amazed at life and the growing up process that I see around me.
Take for example this picture from a few years ago snapped a few summers ago in downtown Fort Wayne. You’ve got my two daughters, a son in law, daughter in law, my son and myself all acting normal.
Missing from the picture are my wife who took the picture and step kids who were not with us that night.
Growing up as an only child of two parents who stayed together till death, I never imagined the way things have gone. For myself having 3 kids was a culture shock. Divorce and remarriage was foreign to me too, but having been there, survived and thrived has been a blessing.
Over the years we have seen the family grow and grow and grow with marriage and babies. 8 of those grandkids in total at the moment. The oldest will be 17 this summer and the youngest is less than a year old as I write this.
Unlike the posts people put on Facebook about how wonderful their life is, we have had our ups and downs. But we have perspective and are always moving forward, even if you have to take a step back every once in awhile.
I titled this article spreading wings for a couple of reasons. The first is because I have seen two of my kids and their spouses move from Indiana. Last month Josh and his wife took a fantastic opportunity in South Carolina. This month Rachael and her husband are moving their family to Colorado. Big changes for all. This weekend we had a going away gathering for Rachael and the gang. Last month we spent time with Josh and Madeline before they packed up.
As a Dad and parent, I have mixed emotions about all of this. I am very proud of all of them and I understand exactly the concept of moving away to follow dreams. I did it when I was in my 20’s too. Yet the other side is missing them and the grandkids. Being several hours away means a visit takes planning and we don’t have a plan yet. But we will.
Spreading wings also refers to growing up and stepping out of comfort zones. My daughter Tiffany is in the midst of that these days and while all the steps to her plan are not yet set, I have confidence that she will continue to grow.
I urge you to look at life with amazement and wonder too. Spread those wings, step out and do the hard stuff, and as I said the other day cherish your people, family and friends.