This Thanksgiving I’m reminded of how fast time goes by. It seems just like yesterday I was singing Dakotah to sleep. Now she is off to college.
My wife, Jill, and I have three kids: Dakotah, who is 18, Ridge, who is 10, and our youngest, Harris, who is 6. Dakotah and Ridge haven’t always seen eye to eye. In fact, Dakotah, being the only child for eight years prior to Ridge being born, would have nothing to do with her little brother. Ridge is a bit stubborn, and in his early days, he could be a real challenge. Princess Dakotah, who called herself Coco after her fashion designer idol, Coco Chanel, delighted in telling others that Ridge was “just visiting” and would soon be returned to the hospital from whence he came. Things seemed to change when our youngest child, Harris, was born. Harris and Dakotah bonded instantly, as Harris did with everyone in the family. He and Ridge are inseparable, and despite having their own bedrooms, they sleep in the same bed every night. As Dakotah says, “Harris is the glue that holds us all together.”
In the past year or so, Dakotah and Ridge have become really close. This past August, we saw Dakotah off to her first year of college in New York (majoring in film), and we couldn’t have been more proud. We went up with her for a week to help her acclimate, and on the day we were leaving, we were all eating, and the next thing we knew, Ridge was hugging Dakotah and having a total meltdown. He was crying hysterically and telling her he didn’t want her to leave. Of course, that started a chain reaction, and we all eventually lost it. It was a bittersweet moment. Jill and I were (and are) so proud of Dakotah getting the Presidential scholarship and getting into one of her dream schools in New York, a goal she set for herself when she was 6 years old. Our little girl is all grown up and has worked hard to realize her dream of living in New York.
Ridge cried the entire subway ride back to our hotel and all the next day as we toured New York before leaving to head back home. I’m so thankful that I have such a wonderful close-knit family.
It has been a really tough time adjusting to life without Dakotah at home, one we are all trying to get used to. I know it will get better, but for now, we’ll have to just look forward to our times together. We can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving week in New York with Dakotah.
Time goes really fast. Don’t wait to spend time with your family and friends. Do it now and do it often, before time slips away.
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