And in the blink of an eye, my baby is gone

Craig Hall

I’m writing this column now because by the time the next issue comes out, this will all be hitting too close to home. By July 22, I’ll be spending every second after that delivery packing up and readying my oldest daughter for her move to Denver for college.

With the coronavirus pandemic messing up her graduation, birthday, graduation party and everything in between, I get to experience the flood of emotions over a three-week period. Let’s just say it isn’t sitting well with daddy. And a flood of emotions it is.

Most of you know my oldest has a unique name — Evin. But you might not know where that name comes form. Evan was the middle name of my two, older, identical twin brothers who passed away five weeks apart from heart attacks in the late spring of 2000. We were going to name our first born Evan regardless. Since we waited until our baby arrived to know the sex, we had mom and my female version of Evin waiting as well.

Evin Hall

And since that wonderful day, our daughter has lived up to both the uniqueness and individual qualities and strengths of her namesakes.

Like most identical twins, you had to know both my brothers to understand the whole. I’m not saying they didn’t share great qualities as dads and men. It’s just that Karl was more a pie in the sky dreamer, why not try it kind of guy. Kurt never did anything without a plan, applying common sense, eternal truths and checking with the man upstairs before making a move. Not that Karl didn’t understand eternal truths and common sense, he just seemed to ignore it if something looked like an adventure. For Kurt, the adventure was knowing the outcome.

I won’t lie: For the past 18 years, it’s been really wonderful having a daily reminder in my life of my two brothers. But Evin has been so much of a blessing than just a reminder.

How the oldest daughter of the two youngest kids became such a reliable, caring, loyal, wicked funny (OK, THAT is from the two nuclear family clowns who created her), passionate and loving kid is beyond me. I guess that means mom and I did OK on the parent end of Evin’s life in spite of a pretty rough divorce and complicated communications over the years. I guess the telling part is very few of the messages were about parenting. And when they were, it was about co-parenting something Evin needed.

None of that stops me from worrying about the coming move and giant step in my daughter’s life. Because no matter how smooth this process has gone (and Evin has done most of the work) there’s still that little devil on her shoulder that needs a swift kick in the backside to make sure those plans come to fruition. I’m impressed Evin wants the responsibility of planning this start to her adult life. But I’m concerned she doesn’t seek out some expert advice from folks who’ve completely bungled some of the decisions she needs to make correctly.
But that’s Evin. She wants to do it.

That brings up another dichotomy in this scenario. I don’t want my daughter to need me. It makes me proud we’ve set her up mentally and socially to move on in life. But, boy, I sure need her to need me. I know there’s a night coming very soon where she’s not gonna say goodnight and I love you. There might even be several nights in a row like that. That’s life. But it also sucks, big time.

So to my sweet daughter Evin as you prepare to move on, please remember even though it was my job to raise you right and take care of all of your needs and wants (and there were tons) these first 18 years, there’s a new need in your life. And its coming from the opposite direction. Dad still needs to hear from you, have you run problems and thoughts and ideas by him and phone calls and conversations just because. If you thought those crazy, hour-long conversations you’d drag me into when I wanted to go to bed after you got home late didn’t mean anything, I can assure you they meant the world.

One last note. All of the above goes for mom and sissy as well. There’s a reason you were named most loyal teammate on Fruita Poms this year: Communicating and showing love comes natural to you.

And I’m most proud of blessing you with that.