BY DAN MILLER
(originally posted December 9, 2004)
There are two birthdays in my life to celebrate this weekend.
My two youngest daughters..... my babies..... were born on adjacent dates.
Darcy was born on December 10th, and McKensie on December 11th.
And, no, they're not twins.
For 25 years, Darcy was my youngest of three -- then suddenly, the day after she turned 25, she became the second youngest of four. That's right.... I have kids spanning two generations.
McKensie and Darcy were born at the same hospital, on the same floor, with some of the same nurses there for both births . No doubt, they thought I was there the second time for the birth of a grandchild.
But no, I was experiencing a "later in life" surprise..... and a wonderful surprise it continues to be every day. To become a father again, well into my 50's, has turned out to be one of life's greatest gifts.
And here's a little bonus from these two beauties. Darcy offers a hint of what McKensie might be like 25 years from now..... and McKensie often stirs up vivid recollections of what Darcy was like 25 years ago. Now there's something you parents who have your kids in a cluster never experience.
Anyhow, McKensie has been busy planning this weekend's big 6th birthday party, while Darcy's already planning her wedding that takes place next year. Those are certainly important events in the world of daughters and dads.
When McKensie celebrates on Saturday with her little friends, there among them will be big sister Darcy, in the unique position to see things from two points of view -- that of the kids, and that of the grownups.
She's shown here with our granddaughter Elouise.
Also not attending is big brother Stephen, who (amazingly) is 32 years older than his youngest sister.
Does anybody have a calculator (or a rocking chair) handy?
So, Happy Birthdays girls, and I leave you with two quotations.... and I think you'll know why I chose each of them.
The first from Joseph Addison, an English essayist and statesman who died in 1719:
"Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father and daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express."
And the second quote from Susan B. Anthony, the American reformer who died in 1906:
"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come in the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these."