Our Love Affair
At 18 years, my husband and I both left our childhood homes. As soon as we were old enough we married. Life, for the most part, has been like an incredible movie - romantic and fun.
As children, we were told by Jimmy's parents, and my mother how burdensome children were. Our parents provided no training and seemed to have no protective instincts, only a desire to push their children out of the house as soon as possible. Needless to say, we were very afraid to have children and didn't try for three years. Then we had Marcus.
Every step along the way was an amazing love story. The pregnancy that I had been told would be so weary, gave me physical energy for the first time in my life. When he was first born, people asked me if I intended going back to work but this powerful protectiveness came over me and I wanted to scream, "How can you look at him and think he means so little?" He was amazing to us and we were in love.
When I was about 12 years old, I came upon a baby magazine in a grocery store that had an article on nursing and from that moment on that's what I wanted to do. I was so grateful when my husband heartily agreed.
Of course, we immediately received the 'sage' advise that I should really put Marc on a bottle as well, just in case! My husband reasoned that even if I was to die suddenly, the baby would learn to take a bottle. So began another beautiful love affair of total breastfeeding.
All we ever heard from parents and friends was the constant moan that it may be fun now, "but wait till he reaches that stage." We waited and waited and each 'stage' was a delight. Then we heard how we were "just lucky."
One day, I overheard my husband respond to one of the "you're just luckies" with, "maybe it's because he has a mother who stays home with him", and for the first time I felt secure in my abilities.
Marc was four, and I was pregnant again - we had tired of the "wait tills"! I remember thinking that my whole world couldn't be more perfect. Then we lost our second baby through miscarriage. What followed was a near breakdown. I couldn't grasp the horror. The mental pain was overwhelming.
If it weren't for Marc's constant love and caring as a little man, with more heart than most adults, and my husband's ever-present strength, I'm not sure I would have recovered. There were the unending comments on how much better this was compared to having a handicapped child and this was what God wanted.
This made me realize without any doubt that I could totally love any child because my little lost baby could have been in any condition and I would have been in love.
I became pregnant again and lived in fear of losing another baby, but she was born on Christmas morning. Of course, our wonderful doubters told us how sad it would be that she wouldn't have a birthday of her own. We saw it only as a blessing of God sharing His day with us.
On that Christmas morning, Marcus had to leave the house at five o'clock in the morning, passing all the unopened presents, and go to the hospital. His only thoughts were how exciting it was going to be to have a brother or sister. He had told me several hours earlier that he knew the baby would be here for Christmas. They let Marc in the recovery room, and he and Killarney bonded instantly.
When my oldest became school age, in my heart I knew it was wrong to have him go, but at that time the homeschooling option simply had not dawned on us. The summer before Marc went to school, I lost tons of weight from the thought of handing over my little man to strangers and I moved Killarney and me to the school parking lot in case Marc got scared and came running out of the building to look for us.
At one-year-old, Killarney refused to kiss him good-bye for an entire week following Christmas vacation because she thought he was abandoning her. He cried, "But I don't want to go, I have to go." How could this make sense?
An entire family was full of sadness due to a state-required separation that limits any real life learning. Yet through all the confusion, God was there tugging me along, until He showed us the home school alternative that kept our family together.
We now had two children 5 ½ years apart who were dearest friends. We were now convinced that children were the way to go. I became pregnant again. Our friendly doubters now told us that the only reason why our two children got along was because they were so far apart in age.
Miracle of miracles,Killarney and Aloysius were 15 months apart and took no time in becoming fast soul mates. And now we have Augustus, Terrence, Ernest, Spencer, Margaret, Roarke and Reuben.
Our life seems too good to be true. The blessing of homeschooling has given back to us the time to see our priorities. Our family has the time to live, love, work, thrive, and play together in a peaceful, healthy, loving environment that encourages cooperation and learning about life.
How blessed I am to be a mother. I strive for each meal to be the greatest memory and each piece of folded laundry to make that person feel loved and cared for. I just love the holidays and we try to make even the tiniest part of it very festive. Thanksgiving is our favorite, certainly our biggest cooking event.
We prepare for two weeks, and have been known to have as many as 39 dishes. We eat from sunup to sunset. I want a thousand more hours to each day to do so much better for my family. My husband and I hope for three generations under the same roof.
Jimmy and I are always full of the excitement that comes from the challenges associated with our lifestyle and look forward to all there is to do, so much more to learn, so much more love to share.
Chester, New Hampshire, USA
Jimmy and Janie are the blessed parents of 10 children, Marcus (19),
Killarney (14), Aloysius (13), Augustus (11), Terrence (9), Ernest (8),
Spencer (6), Margaret (4), Roarke (3) and Reuben (1 ½).