One of the things I love about visiting Patrick's family in Alabama is seeing pictures of Patrick up (please see this for reference) around their home, and the stories his parents tell me each night about him and his brother growing up. I suppose one thing I like about it is how Patrick he was, even as a little boy, telling his mother he wouldn't be her son anymore if he had to wash his hands and go inside for dinner.
Maybe it's silly, or overly sentimental or wishful, but sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the 25 years of Patrick's life I wasn't there for. There's no part of me that wishes for a high school sweetheart kind of romance, of course, and I'm very glad that I met Patrick as an adult, when our ideas and outlooks on life might be more stable than when we were five, or ten, or fifteen.
Plus, my awkward phase extended a little too long for my liking, and I never really went for the Christian boys back then.
What I'm grateful for, though, is to go to Madison, Alabama, to see a picture from Patrick's first birthday, when he smashed his face right into his cake at his grandparents' house, and to see gapteeth, and Peter Pan at Halloween, and a crying baby with a fat head at Christmastime.