Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Growing Up Too Fast

I can still remember the days when both Madison and Emmalie were placed in our arms.  I have memories of every milestone, birthday, and every religious event (baptism, first communion, first bible).

In a grown up world, it is so easy to forget the most basic of needs, friendship.  Yes when we grow up, our priorities change, and for many of us, we allow friendships to drop clear off the roster.  We are able to manage small talk when we run into long lost friends of days long ago.  I have one friend from high school that I have kept in touch with all the years that we have known each other.  Thanks to social web sites like Facebook, I reunited with one of the first friends I made in a new high school that I moved to, and several other class mates.  There are several friends that I have been reunited with from my childhood.  It is unbelievable to think in decades as to the last time I saw many of my old friends.

As a parent, I know the day will come that I have to say “you’ll make lots of other friends” or “there will be other boys”.  But watching my two daughters and the friendships they have, without Facebook or I-phones, it is hard to believe that there will be others.  I have met couples who were high school sweet hearts.  Wedding receptions are popular places to hear speeches from Best Men and Maids Of Honor who pay tribute to their sandbox buddy or playground pal.

My daughters are social butterflies, popular among many ages in school.  They adapt well to change whether it be a new class with a new school year, or new students in their karate class.  Both girls value the most important trait of a friend, loyalty, almost to a fault.  It took Madison a little bit of time in the beginning to realize that she could have more than one friend at a time.  Emmalie does not want to offend any of her friends by inviting only one friend over for play time.  But they love their friends.  They want to share toys with their friends.  Give them news that a friend may be sleeping over, or we are making a group trip, they will go without sleep or food until the day arrives.

A long way from dating, both girls still know the word “marriage”.and what it means.  Both are friends with a set of fraternal twins and have been unbelievable for five years already.  Though initially it came as a shock to even hear the words marriage and husband from Madison, I have grown accustome to its harmlessness and even at her young age, often find myself wondering, “what if”.

And so it goes that a little over four years ago, I learned that Madison was married to one half of her twin friends.  It was during a karate birthday party when the Sensei was leading the group of then 6 year olds in some simple self defense moves, when he decided to use one of the guests of honor.  Out of the blue, Madison runs out of nowhere and starts attacking the man with the second degree blackbelt and screaming at the Sensei “LEAVE MY HUSBAND ALONE!!!”  Immediately, a hush fell over the entire studio, so I know that I was not the only one who knew what he heard.  I walked over to Wendy in a reluctant stride as I had not even been aware that Madison had any kind of liking of a particular friend, let alone a life-time commitment.  There have been plenty of moments when Madison has defended her commitment and reminded the boy of his.

There are so many memories of the twins and my daughters over the years.  Just yesterday, they attended a “Breakfast With Santa” together in what might just possibly be Madison’s last “believing” experience.  It has become somewhat of a ritual to poke fun at the two of them over this “relationship”, but they are truly best friends.  There is never a time that I can imagine them not being involved in each others life in some form or another.  They now attend different elementary schools, and will attend different middle schools, but if they stay in touch with each other, which will happen for the unseeable future, they will attend high school with each other.  And if their friendships are able to survive their college years, who knows what can happen?  But just in case…

  I will make sure that this is the first Christmas card they send out.

      But this is what genuine and innocent friendship looks like.

There are so many stories about these two children.  So many to share with them in their future.  Emmalie is no different with her friends though I hope it is a long while before she mentions any big words like marriage, even in play.

  They grow up so fast that it is scary.

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