He’s 29-years-old, the father of three children, steadily employed, a good guy. This last weekend he married the mother of those three children.
He’s also my cousin. When he was a few months old, his mother brought him to meet us and our grandmother to see us. I watched him while the grown-ups went out. He cried and wouldn’t stop crying. I was grateful when his mom returned.
When we moved to California, I babysat him. We went on bear hunts in the backyard. We were pals. I got invited to his 4th birthday party at Medieval times. (As I remember it, the conversation related to me by his mom, my aunt, went like this: What about Bookgirl? Is she your friend? Do you like her? No. I love her.) Before he started kindergarten he spent a few days with me in my college apartment while everyone else was at work and school. We hung out and played with nerf swords and read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and went to see Honey I Blew Up the Baby.
Then they moved to Arizona and we saw each other less. But every year there are those Silliman reunions. In one of life’s ironies, Dylan, who always wanted to come back to California, ended up with a life in Arizona.
As I watched him walk along the beach in his bare feet to meet his bride, I got all nostalgic, thinking about the little boy who had been so much a part of my life. On the way back down the aisle in the sand, he picked up his little girl, and I was touched and very much in the present. He is a dad and a spouse and a good guy. And he’s my cousin whom I used to babysit.