Puppet Shows & Wedding Altars

Last night I sat on the visitor side of Custer Stadium. The only other time I sat on the visitor side was when I was 12 years old and Tinker Owens played for Miami and they played Col-Hi. There wasn’t enough room on the home grandstand that night. But last night, I watched from there because my cousin Clint’s son was playing for the Union Redskins. Tyler Davis scored a touchdown for Union against Clint’s old team, the Bruins. I asked Clint how much he weighed as a senior playing linebacker for the Bruins back in the day. “165 lbs,” he said. His sophomore tight end son weighs 165, and by his senior year, if he continues to play, will easily exceed his Dad in size and weight. He played a great game. I’ve always looked up to my younger cousins, and I feel close to them, they are my brothers…and in many ways, the younger ones often show me the way.

As I sat watching Tyler with my cousins Mark and Clint, my daughter Lauren emailed this to me:

A little something I typed up after this weekend…Can you guest post to your blog if you want/think it would be good. love ya doodles

by Lauren Taylor Martin     Back in the day, we looked forward to road trips to visit each other. We built forts, performed plays and composed dance recitals, and swam to our heart’s content.

wedding-bt-familyAs we grew, we each found our niche…Our personalities developed and changed, we found our talents, our strengths, our struggles…We made new friends, some of us went off to school, we learned to live life as adults, and some of us have started new families.

We still look forward to cousin visits. These days the stage isn’t a Napoleon Dynamite skit or a puppet show, but the wedding altar and then the wedding dance floor…Our conversations have grown up a little bit, emphasis on the little. Our cousin relationships are changing and growing and I treasure them even more today than I did back then. Papa always told me as the oldest grandchild of the Taylor clan that I was the “example”, the one the younger kiddos looked up to. But I see my “little” cousins growing up and I think they’re the coolest – you guys are beautiful, handsome, wise, kind-hearted, loving, gracious, and goofy, and I look up to you. I’ve always held a certain kind of awe and admiration for my older cousins, and that hasn’t changed as I watch you all grow your families with love and grace.

I’ve never felt more lucky than I did this past weekend as my brother married his bride, Liz. Giving speeches has never been my strong suit, but I wanted you all to know how I feel about each of you.

wedding-cousins-danceI am so proud of the man my brother, Brandon, has become. We share a quiet temperament and we aren’t quick to express our emotions. However, we love deeply and strongly, and I see that in his love for Liz. I am so happy to add a sister to the family. Liz – you are fun, adventurous and spunky…a pretty perfect match for my brother!

brandon-lizI’m proud of my little sister who so often is confused for my older sister, probably because of her maturity and sweet nature. Her confidence and discipline is inspiring, and I am thankful to grow older with a best friend that’s my sister.

My parents are the best parents to us kids (I know the same is true for all my cousins). They may have made mistakes, but so did we. They molded us and taught us to be strong, loving and confident in who we are, and at the same time not taking ourselves too seriously.

I know I am very lucky to not only have grown up with a wonderful family, but also to have married into another wonderful family. I’m proud to call you all family.
 

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6 comments

  1. Lauren
    Reading your kind words about your family is a breath of fresh air for me.
    Your granddad and grandma have passed down a spiritual legacy to their kids and I can see that you have acquired the same desire of putting other people first in your life. I wish you and your family much success and continued spiritual growth in your lives. I love you guys.
    George

  2. Lauren I just wanted to say how wonderful it is to have your little girl marry into such a wonderful family. To know she will be loved and will have so many loving, funny and truly good people in her life is a great thing for a father to know.

  3. Thanks for sharing your heart Baby Awa! My heart was smiling and joyful all week as each family member trickled in. It was so fun just to be together to celebrate Brandon and Liz’s wedding! I’m so proud of you and all of my nieces and nephews and love celebrating your milestones! I love you!

  4. the joy of grandparents is watching grandbabies as they grow and develop into “characters” – each having their own unique style. The greatest joy is seeing them become part of God’s family and take their place in telling their world about our Wonderful Saviour. But Lauren, you have captured in words the joy we feel in being family and cherishing each moment we have together. Thank you for being a beautiful “”example” for the younger grands. And thanks for using your words to warm our hearts today. Love you, Nam and Papa

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