My transition from Pre-Med to something else was a lot less traumatic on me than it was to others who knew me as being defined by my career goals. The license plate on my car even read "MD 2 B" in high school. When I got to college, it might have been easy to assume that Mr. Wonderful would have been the guy with the "PREMED" license plate. That was not to be. He was a jerk, though was the kind that would have made a wonderful heart surgeon someday. Which just might be what's he's doing now....
The real Mr. Wonderful and I started dating December 26th and were engaged February 5th. The question my mom asked when I told her he'd asked me to marry him was, "what.did.you.say?". When she called to tell her mother that I was getting married in July, grandma asked, "what year?" Thankfully by then mom was on board (as much as I could ever hope for) and said in her best teenage-sigh, "THIS year mother!"
I have no excuse for why we were engaged for 6 1/2 months. I only know that from February, the months of April and May just vanished. But let me tell you that there are 61 days in those two months and in order to get to June, let alone July, you have to live through EVERY SINGLE ONE of them. I've already convinced our oldest that three weeks is all you need to put a lovely wedding together. Long engagements are just insanity incarnate!
Sometimes our wedding video makes its way into the VCR. The kids like to pull it out and see all of us before they were around, and we like to watch for much the same reason. My dear BIL went around to guests at our reception asking if people had any advice for us. We got everything from "Be Happy!!" from sweet Grandma F, to "Never mow the lawn" from my best friends' moms (their advice was to me, siting that if I did it, then he'd know I could and then it would end up being my job. I admit that I didn't listen and was the official lawn mower for a while. Gladly, Mr. W has reclaimed that responsibility as it's always what I list when I'm asked what my least favorite chore is).
Eventually BIL made it around to my mom, whose advice was "finish school!". I know she liked Kurt (the name he goes by when his boots and cape are at the cleaners), but I wonder if she thought we were doomed from the start. At 19 and 21, how much could we possibly know? And a part of me wonders if she had even the tiniest bit of hope that this "distraction" would be short lived... That said, she was as doting a mother as any could be during my entire engagement. She relayed other family members' frustrations ( I was, after all, getting married in a place none of my family could come), but I just don't remember her sharing any of her own. Even now, it amazes me and I think of her as a great example of the love she showed to me during this time.
Four short months after our wedding, we announced to our families that we were going to be parents. I wrote a letter to my mom, now living 1000+ miles away, from the baby, partly because I was too afraid of telling her myself. Obviously now finishing school was going to be pushed back a little...or even a lot.
Baby #1, a girl, arrived just four months after my 20th birthday. Baby #2, another girl, came five days after Christmas, three months before my 23rd birthday. I turned 25 ten days before daughter #3 joined our family. Since those three, two more have joined us ~ son #1 and daughter #4.
My kids think it's funny when the conversation comes around to mom's 'original' plan for her life. The one where I was only going to have one child.... and we laugh about keeping mom happy or else she'll be forced to choose four of them to find homes for. It's a card I'll keep in my arsenal, thank you very much!
So we are a family of seven, who might be still to grow someday (that isn't an announcement). I have been privileged and fortunate to stay home for all but about a year and a half of the nearly 15 that I've been a mother. It's funny, because when our oldest was 14 months old, I went back to work, both to help our financial situation and to reclaim who I felt I'd lost in becoming "mom". I was so proud the day I'd ordered my own address labels! I learn awfully fast though that being away was not all I thought it would be. And soon, I don't think I was the employee I wanted to be, because my heart just wasn't in the office where I worked. I had dropped her off with my good friend that morning.
Part 3 coming soon!