i can't say that our family is the easiest one to grow up in. hopefully, it's not the hardest either — there's plenty of love and lots of help available — but the expectations are high, and we are pretty demanding (and even critical) as parents go. and it's all well and good to be in a family that's committed to following Jesus, but costly when it means you have to leave everything and start over in a new country, with a new culture and language.
and i have to say that, given all of that, our daughters are pretty amazing. they're bright, top students. they're pretty considerate; they are aware of the needs of the people around them, and do more to meet those needs than i ever did when i was their age. they're wrestling with meaty questions about their relationship with God and what it means to trust him in real life, with their real lives. even if i weren't their father, i'd be impressed — and i'd probably want my kids to be like them.
none of this is said to set our already high expectations even higher. but i do think it's worth saying that i couldn't be any prouder of them. i see them growing up into hardworking, productive, compassionate young women of God, which is quite dizzying, given that i can still remember when their little hands could comfortably grip a single finger more easily than my (then) comparatively gigantic hand.
so here's to b and n — your mom and i salute you! :-)