This post was written in reply to Today's Parent's call for blogger submission about what makes our families unique.
Snow fell silently outside in the glow of twinkle lights, as the strains of "Silent Night" drifted through the quiet hospital corridors. Kevin slept, finally, the light blonde fuzz of his sweet newborn baby head illuminated in the moonlight like a halo.
"So this is how Mary felt," I thought. "This is what it's like to be a Mom."
I really had no idea of what I was in for. There were the highest moments of all when my heart felt like it would burst, like when he fell asleep on my chest, reading bedtime stories after a bath, kisses goodbye, and when he grabs me in a bear hug now and lifts me off my feet. There were also moments when my heart would break, such as finding him in a corner sobbing that he was stupid, the bullies down the street, and advocating for him with his schools.
Nothing prepares you for motherhood. The best you can do is hang on and enjoy the ride. Our family, I'd like to think, is unique. Different from other families. Maybe it's because John and I have a twenty year age difference, and for years ran a therapeutic group home raising teenage boys. Then there is his daughter, who is almost my age, and Kevin, our son together. Some people think our family configuration is weird. I will admit, I get a kick out of playing with their brains when we're all together, as I watch them try to figure who exactly is that Mom, and how we all fit together. The truth is, I’ve never cared what other people assume about our family, which some classify as unusual as our May/December marriage.
After nineteen years, we think it just works.
Throughout adversity that tears families apart, ours has only grown closer. In the midst of job losses, many moves, near deaths, illness and more, we have become an extremely tight knit little group that is prone to huge adventure. Maybe it’s the fact John can never sit still, and I’m always one who is along for the ride. Not ones to sit on a couch, years ago John and I were scuba diving off BC's coast, flying planes, and now we spelunk, take 8000 + km long road trips, 4x4 in remote Utah locations, dream of zip lining and kayaking, all unplugged from the trappings of the Internet. We have some off beat views on cell phones (rarely ever use one), and are a family who would rather be out hunting for fossils in the dirt than attending a play in the city. Give me a sunny day digging around in the dirt by a rose quartz mine in the middle of South Dakota instead!
Sometimes, it feels like we've held every unusual label-the family that has struggled with learning disabilities, who have advocated with school districts, and finally opted for online learning for our teenager. We've lived in the city, and now are out in a rural area where bears roam a short distance from our door. Our home may be free of any video game consoles, but to our shock Kevin eventually designed his own computer games in the recesses of his room. Maybe we’re all a bit quirky, yes. A little off beat, even. Certainly not average, that’s for sure.
Go ahead, call us a little weird, we won’t mind.
In fact, there’s a very good chance we’ll agree with you.
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