In Boyne, our stories are one big story

By Chris Faulknor, Publisher

This Sunday, we’ll be celebrating the second birthday of our youngest child. We’re all excited, after all, he’s two; but I can’t help but feel terrified. I’m terrified because, in the blink of an eye, two years have just flown on by.
It feels like yesterday, and I know it wasn’t. It feels like it was yesterday that we arrived at the hospital at four in the morning and I was fitted with surgical scrubs so I could be in the room when our child was born.
It feels like five minutes ago that, in a blur, they handed me a child as I quietly covered up the “what am I supposed to do with this” face.
And along with that moment, every other moment feels surreal.
I watched as our child learned to roll over and took to rolling around the room and trying to roll off of our bed.
I cringed when he learned to stand and we “pushed” him back and forth between members of our family to get him to walk.
He learned to say “Mama,” “Dada,” and, of course, “ass.”
I was beside myself because that last word is one that he could have only picked up from me.
Now I’m sitting here in borderline midlife crisis mode wondering what comes next and what comes after that.
We call him “Bobbo,” and he’ll be starting preschool next year and, like so many other things have, I know the time will fly by.
He’ll start Kindergarten in 2024, which will leave me in my mid-fifties when he graduates high school.
And the others? I don’t even know.
My stepdaughter is eight years old and sharpening up her math skills.
What will she do with them? I don’t even know.
She’s become sweet, intelligent, and caring. She uses up our shampoo to wash hair—her doll’s hair. She wants to hug everyone into oblivion and is a proud girl scout. But what does that mean? She’ll be a hairdresser? I haven’t the slightest idea.
Then there’s our cousin-child. A bit of back story, I guess. Kaitlyn, my cousin, moved in with my family just over two years ago. She attends school in Boyne Falls and I couldn’t picture our lives without her any more than I could Isabella, Robert, or my own wife. She’s fifteen, a proud champion for the rights of everyone, and a ukulele player.
She drives me to the store and back and laughs at me when I do something she feels is stupid.
Her optimism makes my head hurt—this past summer, we ran out of gas on our way to the Horton Bay Bridge Walk and she genuinely wondered why I was upset.
My business partner is undoubtedly laughing right now because we joke about me being an undying optimist—I’m sure the fact that I got schooled in my own game is amusing.
And then there’s my wife. My wife who puts up with the schedule that comes with this business. My wife who understands that while, yes, I did work all day selling ads, the photos of the basketball game won’t take themselves. My wife who sticks by me even when I run out of gas in the middle of the road in her car—yes, it’s the same incident.
I couldn’t picture living my life without Tiffany there to take it on with me.
This column started with me talking about my son’s birthday. Before I knew it, I was talking about everyone. But, I think that’s indicative of a fact people take for granted.
When you have a family, there is no such thing as “just talking about the one person,” because the stories intertwine. That’s what family is: it’s a network of intertwining stories that all become one.
If you continue the story, you’ll find my mother who has supported me through thick and thin for over three decades and always calls with the latest “they were buy-three-get-twenty-free, so come pick some up.”
She taught me the value of hard work because she got up at four in the morning to work and support us.
You’ll see the influence of my grandfather among other relatives who have since passed away.
You’ll see every past success and failure shape the pathway for tomorrow as we try to provide the best possible example for our children.
The stories really are one giant story.
And, today, nothing gives me more joy than being able to share a piece of it with each of you.

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