In the mid ’70’s my wife and I were busy as the proverbial one armed paper hanger. We had 4 children under the age of 8 and I was working very hard and even every Saturday for half a day. She was loaded to the gills taking care of the house and being the Chaffuer, mom, laundress, house cleaner and pal for the ole work boy here. Well, as hectic as those times were we did enjoy the kids. They gave a purpose and joy about life. They were what got me to the office every day and my wife in and out of that station wagon a zillion times a day and kept her up late every night doing diapers and laundry and then up early to feed the herd and get everyone in the car for the trip to school and pre-school.
So, we did the “smart” thing and went ahead with another pregnancy. She was born in ’74 and shortly afterward we moved for the last time to our current location where everyone more or less grew up. There was about a 3 year gap between her and her older brother. Her older sisters were very delighted to have a new “toy” in the house. She was pulled and carried along with us everywhere we went. We weren’t really near the grandparents anymore so we couldn’t just give a holler and have them come by to watch the kids. She was a good baby and toddler. Not very demanding at all compared to a couple of her older siblings! I would often sit her on the couch beside me after dinner while I was folding the diapers and the other laundry which was one of my regular chores in addition to being the bed time enforcer in residence. She of course would want to help and was always grabbing the laundry which didn’t really speed things up but she was always in such good spirits that I loved having that “help”.
I remember when I first took her to school for the first grade and watched her walking into the school and how much she reminded me of her mother. Her build in very much like her mom. Her legs are the spitting image of her mom. It almost made me weep with nostalgia to see her like that. I imagine because she had so much “socializing” at home with all her siblings that she was very adaptable with others and always got along so well with others in school. She became the cheerleader in middle school and her freshman year before moving on to the drill team and developed very strong friendships and attachments. The changes between her pre teen and early teen years were the most dramatic I think of the kids. I love looking at her pics when she was 13 and then when she left for college. The differences are dramatic. She somehow over night became so sophisticated, at least to me.
She played in one of the toughest football games I ever saw. The local hi school had a tradition of a powder puff bowl between graduating seniors and the juniors. Those gilrs went at each other I am here to tell you. There was blooding flowing and scrapes and bruises aplenty. I don’t remember who won I was just glad she got out of there without broken bones.
I remember when she was off in college she had car problems so like a loon I let her borrow my Range rover. Well, sure enough, after a few weeks I got a call from her saying the car would run. Gee, what a surprise since she had forgotten to chech the transmission fluid and just like they warn you it burned out the transmission.
Then she married. Gosh she has turned out to be the bestest mom. Blessed me and the misses with 4 terrific grandchildren and she works as hard at being a mom as her mom did. When times get a little tense I can always rely upon the memories I have of her and my heart will be lightened. Having her was one the the better decisions of my life. Yes, it was worth it a million times over. It might not have been prudent to most outside observers but the being lead by your heart sometimes can have rewards more abundant than you expected or in my case even deserved. I received more than I gave.
If you are wanting to expand your intellectual horizons and stay abreast of current events I would recommend you take Foreign Affairs and the Sunday supplement to the Manchester Guardian. The first is published quarterly and is pricey but it has thoughtful and in depth articles about the issues affecting the globe from military issues to economic and social. I often disagreed with the content but enjoyed the mental challenge of different views. The Guardian is very left wing. Warn of that up front and traditionally very anti-American but because of the history of the British empire and its connections that still exist it probably has the best coverage of world events you will find in one source.