Thursday, September 11, 2014

the heart of life

There were times after my divorce when it felt like the kids and I were this very small, very select army-us against the world. It was that way for a long time. And then I became obsessed with giving them the "nuclear family" experience I thought they were missing. Since I like to make unrealistic demands on myself I arbitrarily decided that if I wasn't married again by the time I was thirty all hope of creating this family would be lost.

What's that happens while you are busy making other plans. I didn't even meet my future husband until shortly after my thirtieth birthday. We dated for nine months before he met the kids. After another year and a half we moved in together. And it took another five years for us to get married.

During this time we became a family. It wasn't always easy, particularly between him and the girls. Tween and teen girls...oh man...they aren't for the faint of heart!(#thestruggleisreal LOL) I think a lesser man might have bolted at the thought of all of those hormones raging at the same time. He loves them and they love him. But, we always knew that we wanted to have a baby. We struggled for three years before getting pregnant with Rowan. One of my worries with having another baby especially with such a big age difference between them was how the older kids would react.

Considering that they're old enough to know how babies are made their reactions were better than we expected! I wouldn't say they were deeply interested in the pregnancy but they asked how I was feeling, dutifully looked at sonogram pictures, reassured me that I didn't look like a whale and weighed in on the name debate. What more could you ask for from a sixteen year old boy and his sisters? 

When we brought Rowan home my youngest daughter fell for him instantly but he was so small that Zachary was too nervous to even hold him. The older two weren't living at home so their interest was more perfunctory. A few months ago Logan moved back home and she's quickly become smitten with her baby brother. Over the weekend he charmed his oldest sister. She's definitely not a baby person but even she couldn't resist loving on him!

It's strange(unexpected and delightful) but I think that we feel more connected to each other as family. After Doug and I got married I wasn't sure that it would feel different, but it did. It felt deeper and more substantial. That's what I feel Rowan has brought to us. Having this new baby has made us a stronger family and the house has a lightness to it that wasn't there before.When I see my oldest son playing with his brother or listen to one of the girls talking softly to the baby in his crib my heart melts! This thing, family, it's sometimes difficult and complicated, but it's a good thing!   

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