16 February 2016



Is not the name of the next Adele album.

rhombicuboctahedron has 26 sides (please, nerds, can someone tell me what that rhombi thing even is?)

The atomic number of iron is 26.

God gave the Torah in the 26th generation since Creation. Who knew?

The 26th letter in the English alphabet? Z.

The age at which males can no longer be drafted in the United States is 26.

But most importantly, 26 is the birthday being celebrated today by Our Lady of Awesome, our eldest child and first-born daughter. For 26 years, I have been in awe of her (as I am all my children). She somehow managed to survive me as a very young, brand-new dad. As a newborn, she had to listen to countless versions of my senior thesis on the role of grace in Southern short fiction (try writing the paper of your life for the only Catholic English professor at BYU). She had to listen to They Might Be Giants' album Flood from the minute she came home from the hospital as I was completely obsessed with it. She did it all without complaint. She's always had a way of looking at me too, even from the time I held her that first week she spent in the NICU. She's had a look that tells me, 'Dad, I know what you're up to.' Suffice to say, she's not one of suffer fools gladly.

She's made a good life for herself. Watching she and Awesome parent their two children is a joy. They are good partners, good to one another, and good to our grandchildren. She'll celebrate this birthday surrounded by the things she loves most, family and sunshine (given that there is sunshine you'll know immediately they're not here in Connecticutistan). She deserves it.

Happy birthday, Princess, and thanks again for these two:

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