Family Longitudes

A wash of important events over the past month has meant that I’ve spent more time planning for and being a part of things, and consequently have had less time for reflecting and writing about them. Family has been the common thread for the three major events; along with all the good time spent with family members, I’ve enjoyed observing the different stages of life commemorated by the events.

First was the wedding of Luke and Jessica, which for me started with his bachelor party, if I can call it that–it was just the two of us on a geocaching adventure. We found the cache, but it was harder than I thought, giving us lots of time for manly discussion. The rest of the wedding involved our whole family, and Jessica’s too. The pre-wedding picnic was the first time in several years that all of my siblings were together. The wedding itself, of course, was even more beautiful than the pictures made it look. Jenny and I spent time remembering our own wedding, and even Elena wanted to talk about getting married.

Not long after that, we packed into the car for a trip to see Jenny’s family, for Nick’s graduation and Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Our trip went as smoothly as we could have hoped, but it was still somewhat difficult for Jenny, due to the advancing pregnancy. She bore the burden well, because we wanted to support Nick. I was impressed by how many people attended the graduation–the graduates only numbered about two hundred, but their families and friends filled a considerable portion of a large sports arena.

Nick’s Court of Honor had a much smaller scale, which allowed us to celebrate his accomplishments in detail. I was honored to have a small part in the ceremony. Nick is a good young man, and we wish him the best in college. Both Jenny and I had good high school experiences, but we’re old enough now to realize that graduation from high school is more of a beginning than an ending.

The final event had special significance for Elena, because she got to spend lots of time with John and Emily’s children–the only cousins she hadn’t met before. Although last minute changes to their travel plans meant that their trip was shorter than planned, we got together for Father’s Day and then again the following weekend.

Grandma invited Elena to come spend time with her cousins (and some aunts and uncles too) on Saturday and into Sunday. She had a tremendous time with them. They went for a hike and played in a river. Matthew and Jacob are old enough to treat her very well, and Danny is a year older but about the same size to be a good playmate–Grandma even caught them holding hands at church. Elena loves Baby Clara, and handles herself around her pretty well. I think our gentleness and baby preparation training with Jewel is paying off.

It’s always an honor to participate in a baby’s blessing. Before the actual blessing, John and Emily shared some touching words about what family means to them. Clara has great parents and big brothers. Soon enough, we’ll have baby Moonbeam with us. Holding Clara helped me think back to Elena’s early days and look forward to what’s in our immediate future. It’s sure to be an adventure.


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