|Photo by Tim Nichols|
Do you remember the book Chester's Way by Kevin Henkes? It's about a little mouse named Chester who had his own way of doing things. Chester's best friend Wilson liked all the same things. "Chester and Wilson. Wilson and Chester. That's the way it was." The book goes on to describe all the fun things Chester and Wilson did together, but then one day Lilly moves into the neighborhood, and Lilly has her own way of doing things. Chester and Wilson aren't too sure about Lilly at first. But after she saves them from some bullies, Chester and Wilson realize they can learn a few things from Lilly and her way of doing things. They also see that life is more fun with Lilly, and soon the three of them are inseparable. "Chester and Wilson and Lilly. Lilly and Wilson and Chester. That's the way it was." Until the very end of the book when "Victor moves into the neighborhood . . . "
That story reminds me of our story. It started with Ben, who had his own way of doing things. When Darton came along, he fit right in. Ben and Darton, Darton and Ben. That's the way it was. And life was good. Then Emily arrived on the scene. From the beginning, Emily had her own way of doing things. As time passed, the boys realized they could learn a thing or two from their baby sister, and they also saw that life was more fun with three. Ben, Darton, and Emily. Emily, Darton, and Ben. That's the way it was. For years. And years. I referred to them as B, D, E, and rattled off "two sons and a daughter" whenever anyone asked about my kids.
And then Tucker showed up. At first he was Darton's teammate and friend. But then, at cross-country camp, he got to know Emily, and before long Tucker started spending more and more time on Eagle Street. It turned out he had his own way of doing things. For starters, he likes mild chicken wings and doesn't eat broccoli. But we soon discovered that Tucker made family dinners, game nights, tennis matches, road trips, and holidays more fun, and we also realized we could learn a thing or two from the new guy. When our fifteen-year-old dog was dying, Tucker was the one who gently said, "You've gotta let him go." When our front door was sticking and wouldn't open the whole way, Tucker said, "I can fix that," and he did. And most important, he loves our girl and knows how to make her happy. So now we have three sons and a daughter, and we couldn't be happier about it. Ben, Darton, Emily and Tucker. Tucker, Emily, Darton and Ben. That's the way it is. (Until Emma moves into the neighborhood . . . but that's a story for a future entry!)
|Photo by Nicole Mason|