When I first learned that Caroline was pregnant with triplets, I remember distinctly hoping that one of them was a girl. Not that I was rooting against boys. I wasn’t. It’s just that I always loved the whole “Daddy’s little girl,” concept, not to mention the fact that I didn’t get the honor of being Alli’s stepdad till she was six, which meant that I had missed out those pivotal years when a dad first becomes smitten with his little girl.
And I wanted to know what it felt like when a mini-Caroline took my breath away. What it felt like to see such pureness, such beauty. And Kirby has delivered all that and more. But as much as I’ve cherished the experience, I can’t say it was unexpected. It wasn’t.
But do you know what was? The fact that my boys delivered the exact same thing.
See, this summer, it’s the boys who have me smitten. For I’ve fallen in love with them all over again. And I think it’s because when I see them, I’ve come to see the same type of beauty that I found in their sister. That same pureness.
And, yeah, it takes my breath away.
These long, hot days have yielded a state of general shirtlessness, and it’s in this state that my boys tend to operate – their taught bellies bronzed by the sun, the soles of their small feet blackened with barefooted adventure, and their drawstrings forever dangling beneath the elastic band that hugs their lean waists.
They have their mama’s good looks, my boys do, their smooth faces complete with high cheek bones and discernible dimples, capped playfully with messy and sun-bleached quaffs of hair, several shades lighter than their normal color, a dirty blond that makes their eyes browner, still.
They bounce about our house, equal parts mindful and mischievous, with an unbridled energy I can only barely remember myself. But remember it, I can, and that must be part of this process – the one whereby I’ve become smitten with my boys. The fact that they unknowingly take me to the little person I was way back when – before the thousands of yesterdays became today – and I remember a little more about that little boy each and every time I hear them making the cacophony of noises one is obliged to make when playing with such a fine collection of matchbox cars. The “vrroooms,” the “zooms,” and the “woooshes.”
But it’s more than just that. It’s also that I’m taken by how big my boys have gotten compared to the four-pound beings born at 36 weeks. How independent they’re becoming despite how dependent they remain. So it’s in this wheelhouse, you see, where I’ve fallen in love with them all over again. This little vantage point where I can see just how far they’ve come, but see, also, how much further they still have to go.
Because I’m their man – the one chartered with ushering them to a manhood all their own. And while I’ll be fine with whatever the future holds for these beautiful little boys, I hope and pray that it includes little boys just like themselves.
And an endless summer when it dawns upon them all over again just how beautiful they are.
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Read more of JCO Multiplied:
10 Things I Wish My 10 Year Old Daughter Knew
Dogs vs. Infants
15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know
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