Today - November 11, 2008 is the 36th anniversary of my wedding day. I remember it like it was yesterday. 1972 was a whorl wind year for me. I graduated from high school and became engaged on May 28th.....on June 18th, we had to take temporary custody of my husband's four children, we got permanent custody of the children at the end of October and we got married in November! Holy Cow what a year. When 1972 started, I had no idea that I would become a mother that year, let alone a mother of 4 children ranging in ages from 6 to 11. I never wanted to have kids. I didn't even know how to cook then, boy did I learn fast.
As I look back at all that happened that year, it amazes me. The first two years we had the kids, I stayed home, so that they and I could adjust to our new life. I think over that time, we all learned some lessons that helped us all to become the family we are today. The kids had to adjust to having a mother that totally accepted them for who they were. Naturally, I was totally the opposite of their "real" mother. I grew up having certain manners and behaviors expected of me....trying to instill that in kids that had no idea what manners were was a challenge in itself. Dinners in the beginning were like living through a food fight...the kids had no idea how to keep their meals on their plates and what a napkin was all about. We decided to start serving them on platters....it worked out well, until they had company for dinner one night and the "company" friends of theirs asked them why we served them on platters. The oldest son...answered...because we don't know how to eat yet....we never had to serve them on platters again...manners were learned and respect for each other began.
I by no means, am saying all the adjustments were as easy. The kids and I had alot to learn about each other and how to deal with life with each other. My husband...right from the start established that whatever I said was to be listened to...he did not let them get away with the "she is not my mother thing". We knew if we were going to be successful raising all of these kids together, that we had to be a united front, that they couldn't undermine...oh they tried, they just didn't get away with it. My daughter was the hardest, she was Daddy's girl and didn't think that she had to do what I said....she learned quickly that Daddy was not going to let her get away with anything.
My kids, to this day, I still consider them one of my life's greatest successes. They all did not grow up perfect and have made their share of mistakes, but through it all the love I felt for them the first day I saw them is still with me.
Happy Veteran's Day.