This morning I was sitting here thinking of how truly blessed I am.
I am married to an imperfect man. Just as I am imperfect. We have made it this far ..not without bumps, bruises and scars.
But 2 broken, wounded people came together and we raised a good family.
Neither of us had a good fathers. We had grandparents that stepped in to help as they could. ( both of us) Neither of us grew up in a traditional family. Rob had a really good Step-dad that stepped in as he was 12-13 ish.
Rob was an only child and his upbringing was very unconventional. You all know I was the oldest of four in a life of turmoil, dysfunctional on every level with massive amounts of abuse on every level.
So imagine when 2 divorces’ with this type of background come together and not only have a few kids but we came together with 5 and added 1 more? for a cool half dozen?
Could we have made it any more difficult? there wasn’t a person on the planet that had any sort of contact with us that thought this was a good idea and tried to talk us out of it. Even I was dragging my feet until I got knocked up. LOL
But God had a bigger plan. That is all that I can say.
Each of us tried to sabotage in different ways. I wanted to leave almost everyday of my life. I was with an emotionally vacant man who didn’t understand how to communicate. He thought he was with a crazy emotional woman who did nothing but talk. LOL
But you know what happened? Our children. they were the glue. I would always look ahead to see what we had in common what could we use to sustain us? The ONLY thing we had in common was our kids. We BOTH loved each of them indefinitely. We were both sacrificing ourselves to make sure they had what we didn’t. We always tried to do the right thing for them. Were we perfect? no.
Each of us were not biologically related to all of these children but we both loved them as they were. We both had the goal of creating the family we desperately wanted.
My husband has never played sports. He was a car guy and mechanically inclined. What did he do? He studied football. He took them to practices and games and learned. When they wanted to start a fantasy football league. He literally bought a book, studied and learned so he could enjoy that with them. When his daughters needed a bunny hutch. He bought a How to book, learned about bunnies and he built that hutch from scratch and we got a bunny. One of my favorite memories about football ( we have several) was one year when they finally got their positions and numbers…I had missed it for whatever reason….Rob had the boys run downstairs into the family room one at a time and he acted like the announcer as he stated what their numbers and positions were with a little commentary about each of them. So it was like I hadn’t missed anything.
He also took them to do things he did enjoy as well hiking, video games, movies ect.
But when he took them hiking there were lessons along the way as well. How to identify animal tracks. Directions ect.
Rob always tried to do what he could do within his capacity to be he dad they needed. He struggled because he’s on the Spectrum. So affection, saying I love you and communicating like that hasn’t been at the forefront. But our kids knew without a doubt they could count on him and he would always be there. I had to learn to communicate with him, which was a huge learning curve for me.
Somewhere along the way as the kids started growing and leaving the nest , we had learned how to better communicate. We developed some similar hobbies. Hiking, kayaking, religion, politics ect. So now we actually enjoy spending time together.
When our family comes together …we do have scars. We had a bumpy ride. But Rob and I were typically always on the same page as far as the kids were concerned. But what we always have…even now when all of us come together is happy memories. They are always telling stories and laughing and sharing about all of the things we did. There were plenty of things that both Rob and I hated doing but we decided we didn’t want the kids to miss out on certain experiences. Them having good experiences as a family were really important. I wanted them to look back and see good things. I can’t say that for myself.
I hated camping. I still hate camping. Rob was always gone during the summers because of his job…but I would take my kids camping. Rob taught all of my boys how to set up the tent trailer and tents all on their own. I would pull up to the camp spot and all 4 of my boys would unhook the trailer, back it into the camp spot. They would start getting to work….several times other people from the various camp spots would come to me and say they were so impressed with my boys. These 9-10-11-12 year old boys ( They were probably younger than that when we started) could manage everything. But that was the deal. I would sacrifice all of the bugs and work to go camping if they managed that stuff. They did it.
I won’t begin to say that Rob did all of this without complaining….he complained ALOT!! He hated the water parks. He hated stuffing 3000 eggs for our epic flashlight egg hunts with 60 people here….he complained about lots of things….and he did it. Afterwards, I think he has also come to realize that those times were worth it. The work was worth it. Isn’t that always the truth?
We both learned a lot. But what I appreciate most other than the natural traits that Rob has such as protector, provider, cheer leader and teacher is that he was willing to learn. He was willing to go to counseling. Rob is also the most accepting person that I have eve met. He loves everyone. There isn’t anything (within reason) that someone could do that he would judge harshly. I am not that way. I love that about him.
18 years ago when I introduced him ( a guy from northern ID who grew up in the sticks and went to church on Sundays..there is a certain stereo type that goes with that) to my gay brother and his partner. There was never an issue. In fact Rob has been the one over the years to defend them and protect them from other prejudiced people in our family (or others). If they couldn’t accept my brother they weren’t allowed in our house or functions. It wasn’t tolerated. He has been the utmost example to our children. I remember someone said something racist in front of my husband and he had a visible response where he had to keep himself together so that he could compose himself. I know all of that seems strange and normal now….but 18 years ago that was not always the case.
So just a few reflections of my last 18 years with Rob, the husband and father. I am blessed beyond measure that I had these last 18 years with him. I am so glad that he chose to be the father to our 6 children. He still chooses that and he will love them unconditionally until his last breath. I couldn’t ask for more than that.
This is the month of July on his calendar. He loves this. LOL. You can’t tell but he has a fake pony tail attached to that hat. LOL! that muscle shirt doesn’t fit and gave him a rash..but anything for the perfect picture. LOL!
To the man who has captured my heart for the last 18 years….and will for eternity.