From the time these babies were born it was established that I was to fill all of these roles for life, because that was who we decided we were as a family collective, and a commitment I do not take lightly. After making the difficult decision to not have children of my own I knew that these magical little beings would be the closest I would ever come to having children of my own - and they ARE my children. Ask any one of them how they feel about me and they'll tell you countless stories and not even be able to remember the thousands of diaper changes before their memories of me began to form.
will listen to me when I need to tell him the things he needs to know. This child is likely to do or be anything, I'm still waiting on him to inadvertently open the portal to another dimension in that cesspool of a bedroom he dwells in. Apparently I was the only 15 year old boy in history with a clean bedroom and a serious penchant for organization!
got deeply offended when I asked him if he thought I took good care of him, as if it were even up for debate or scrutiny. This one should be a defense attorney who does stand up comedy on the side. No, really - this kid has ALWAYS been a stitch. When he was little we called his sayings "Cole-oquialisms". Once I made him laugh so hard he peed a little, and thought it was the funniest thing ever. In his defense, he was only 6 years old. I tried to fill part of the Shane-sized hole left in his heart when his father and my best friend died in 2000, because I made that promise and because I just love and adore him so.
explain things like 'war'. It's really hard to accept that she's the same person who wanted nothing more than a Lion King fork & spoon plate and bowl set as a gift. Of course, she was a toddler and when asked what she wanted she replied "a Lion King fuckin' spoon!" I'll bet her friends STILL talk about the legendary Birthday-Slumber-Party of '03. Ah, good times...
first complete sentence, first steps, a thousand just-because kisses, I was there for all of it. I even gave her her first piggy tails! She gave me fits to do it, and wouldn't sit still while it was happening (which explains why they're so unbalanced) but wanted them every day from that day on - and I was the only one she'd allow to do it. This baby was the first full-time parenting responsibility I was ever tasked with, and those five years are some of the most rewarding of my entire life.
I adore and am madly, deeply, hopelessly in love with my children in case that were not evident.