I am so blessed.
My former wife, Laurin and I met while working together at Steak Escape in 1992. In 1994 we were married, and a little less than year later Jessica Griffin joined our family. In 1998 little Tanner Jeffrey came along, and our family was complete.
While Laurin and I separated and divorced a few years ago, we remain great friends to this day and gladly share family holidays and other events together. Laurin has recently moved to Florida, as she always wanted to live in the south, and continues her successful bookkeeping business from there.
Anyone who follows me on my personal Facebook page knows that I’m a crazy-proud dad, so I’ll brag a bit on my kids here.
Jessie is an angel. She was the kid who worked her tail off in school and though occasionally a brat at home, really always has been the light of my day every day.
Jessie's great passion has always been music, and she jumped into the Pickerington North marching band scene full force. She had a great run there under Marc Parulekar – even going to Florida and New York with the band – and found her social network there. Great kids – great families – great fun! She continued her marching band career at BGSU for three years and found a great social network there as well.
As a child, Jessie learned team dynamics playing sports. She loved – loved – LOVED being part of the team though, and as she grew up, she played soccer and softball and volleyball. I was happy to coach her in soccer and softball, and I was thrilled to cheer her on during her brief track career at Pickerington North.
Jess is a perfectionist when it comes to school – as is borne out by her 4.27 GPA at Pick North, and her full-ride honor student academic scholarship to my Alma Mater Bowling Green State University. Jess was one of a handful to earn a perfect 4.0 from BGSU when she graduated Magna Cum Laude last May. She was chosen by the faculty of the Journalism Department as the top student in her graduating class and had more ribbons around her neck on graduation day than I’ve ever seen.
Today Jess works for BGSU as an Admissions Counselor and is considering a number of options for graduate school in the fall. I consider myself very fortunate to be her dad.
Tanner was born with the gifts of great speed, coordination, and athleticism. He grew up playing soccer, baseball, football, and basketball. When he was three, he started playing soccer. At five, he moved on to t-ball, eventually baseball and then to travel baseball. That led to Junior High baseball at Lakeview and eventually varsity baseball at St. Charles Prep in Columbus. Tanner earned 2nd team all Central Catholic League honors his senior year and was voted “Defensive Player of the Year” by his teammates. I was almost always involved as a coach of some sort, scorekeeper, or a public address announcer.
His football career followed a similar path, starting at age 7. Tan played through the PYAA system and was chosen for the All-Star team at the end of the 6th grade year. He was the quarterback who handed the ball off to Morgan Ellison, now playing at Indiana, and Jay Tolliver, now playing at Georgetown, for Lakeview Junior High. At St. Charles he worked his way onto the varsity team as a 5’1” 105# freshman where, thank God, he did not see the varsity field. He spent sophomore year as the JV quarterback and had a great time with that. Junior year was split between starting as a slot receiver for varsity and JV quarterback until his season was cut short with a concussion. Senior year, Tan started at receiver and as the long-snapper for St. Charles. He had a great run there.
Academically Tan has done very well, making the honor roll every quarter through a challenging academic program at St. Charles Preparatory School. He received a partial academic scholarship to Kent State University where he began as a freshman last fall in pursuit of a nursing degree. I am very proud of the young man he is becoming.
You often hear about kids who are in trouble having a difficult home life growing up. Laurin and I were fortunate to be in a position to invest a great deal of time into both of our children, and while they certainly have their flaws – who among us doesn’t – I am tremendously proud of the young adults they have become.