A new beginning

The counters say it’s been 19 days, but it still seems like yesterday. The memories of the day are fresh in our minds. Our vows are made and we are now married. It’s not all easy, mind you. It’s hard work some days. And getting sick right back from the honeymoon hasn’t made it easy on us. But we’re learning early on what it is to show grace and mercy on a daily basis.

Every day we learn something new about each other and about ourselves. We know each others’ triggers and soft spots. Likes, dislikes, habits. And we have to learn about 5 little people who are still deciding what they like and don’t like. Always an adventure to be had.

We were back 24 hours before we had our first argument. Lack of sleep? Return to reality? Being back in the winterland? Who knows? It was petty and bygone. But we learned right away we must always be on our guard from our pride.

You know, the kids are a challenge. We love them dearly. And we’ve appreciated how they have responded to us. All the kids have put their trust in the new parent. They listen, obey, and come to us with issues. They also try to work us, test the waters, and see what they can get away with. Which brings us back to standing with one voice. And I’m so grateful that Deidre and I agree that we must do that, for our sake and for the sake of our family.

If you think about it, the kids are much more resilient than we are. They really do adapt better than us adults do. Think about the journey my 3 have been on: changes in school, living at my parents’ where all three shared a bedroom that had beds and that’s it, the long hours I was gone when working in Boston. And they’ve pulled through to the other end. Now the 2 boys have their own room with a desk and dresser, and Victoria has a room with her new sister. She’s ALWAYS wanted a sister.

My family has been wonderful and accepting. I know it’s hard to trust again. Believe me, I know. And yet once again they have opened their hearts and homes to accept not only a new love, but her children, our children, as well. Ryan and Rachel call my parents “Grandma” and “Grandpa”, my brother and sister are their Aunt and Uncle. Birthdays and holidays include all of us. It’s quite a zoo! But the children know they are loved no differently than the next. That’s the important thing and shows there are still adults out there who can grow beyond the petty definition of  “family” as it is sometimes defined.

We have fun. We have fights. There is laughter. There are tears. The girls know how to press the boys’ buttons. And Mom and Dad’s too. And when they light us up like a Christmas tree… then the fireworks start. And it’s not different than any other family out there, I believe.

As we continue down this road, there will be hills, bumps, and detours. There will be times that we speed in the HOV lane, and times that we sit in traffic. So much to learn and experience and suffer and celebrate. I look forward to it all. We signed on for the full package. And the children are all the stronger; they did not choose this, but they willingly accept and move forward with us. They pay the price for our choices and our mistakes. And they love us nonetheless. We will do the same for them through the years. And in the end, we will look back, and say: “What a perfect fit.” For Deidre, you are the perfect fit for me and our children. Thank you for loving us. <3

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