An Overly Sentimental Story of Unsolicited Sincerity etc...
Airing out the dirty laundry...Jace, Sophia, and Zoey - Sept. 2011
There was a time when I didn't know who Kaylen was. She was younger than me, and I wasn't as socially assiduous as I could have been. I knew Jason well, however. I knew Jason very well. I don't remember the details of their meeting, not a single story, or perhaps I'd never heard it told. I only know that the two bore the weight of criticism from the minute they started being spotted together. It was never very specific, and I'm sure they have stories, more tales I've never heard, about those first few weeks, and even months. It's a strange kickback that the ignition of love and loss leaves. It can hurt your head. If you're not ready for it I know that it can cause some serious pain.
There's a lot about Jason and Kaylen that I didn't know. I only knew that Jason was my friend, and that Kaylen was always kind to me, and that was enough. They were fun, and obviously happy. It's always ugly the separation of man or woman from their family, and his family was his friends, and they took his leaving hard. Of course they did, he was as comfortable as a favorite shirt as far as friends go, so of course it was hard watching him walk away. It was harder because he was a grown man and didn't need to ask. He just went. Of the things that I do know about Jason and Kaylen I know that he never thought twice about his choice. I know that he never should have had to make it.
Now, two children in a basket later (that third little curious looking bit of dirty laundry being our own) and they are what everyone should have known they would be all those years ago...a happy, loving couple with a lifetime of making new stories ahead of them. They've got no less than two new stories staggering around their house in various states of toddlerdom already. If watching Jason leave to follow his heart was hard for his family of friends in the very first place, it must be doubly so to see him so happy and know that you've missed so much of it. Family dynamics aren't easy to figure out, and this unique relationship he nourished over the years with his friends was no different. In equal portions he was upset with them, and they with him, and in the end here he sits, two kids in a basket (the third, he appropriately takes no credit for), a happy wife, and a lot of stories waiting to be told and even more eager to be recalled.
For me theirs is a story about becoming the people that you're supposed to become, and waiting for no one's approval or permission. It's about finding that place where giving up what you've had is less important than embracing all that you've got. I don't know much about the very beginnings of Jason and Kaylen, but I'm happy to know a lot about this middle part. These are good stories that I don't want to miss, and so I won't. It's really that simple.
At each one of my good friends weddings I stood with microphone in hand and stumbled into that place that so few of us ever go. I told them all that I loved them and that I hoped the stories kept getting better and better, and that I hoped that I might be lucky enough to be in some of them. Now we've got three little kids sitting in the same little laundry basket and I can't help but laugh out loud. Like I said, I don't know much about the very beginnings of Jason and Kaylen, but that's not the part that I ever really thought about. This is the part I think about. Three kids in a basket, when at one point we were just three kids ourselves. This is the good part. The beginning is called just that for a reason, because there's a lot more to follow, and it's just the start. I don't know much about the beginning, only that June and I heard many of the same rumblings. She's younger, and where did Brian go, etc...ridiculous etc...but fifteen years later and all I really know is that it's the here and now that matters, and to be completely honest. I'd much rather be there in the middle and at the end than just the beginning. Ten years ago we weren't able to snap a photo this #$%ing cute. I know that.