My mother was one of five kids and always had to make do with not enough. Not enough food, space, privacy, attention. Not enough of her father’s support or fidelity. So she married a man who loved her above all else and had two children so each of them would get a larger portion. A larger portion of love and affection and time and kisses and cake and presents and a larger portion of herself.
My father grew up one of three, the middle child. He didn’t want there to be a middle child so they had two. His mother didn’t cook, so he married a woman so beautiful and talented that all he had to do was look at her and eat her cooking and he would be endlessly happy. (He helped her in the kitchen too.)
They were active. Took their little ones to Yosemite before the youngest one could walk. Hiked Half Dome in the summer and cross-country skied in the winter. They met playing soccer. And raised their family playing soccer, giving them a community to be a part of and a lifestyle to embrace and something to believe in.
They took trips to the ocean, to the desert, to the tropics, to Disneyland, camped, stayed in hotels, entertained themselves in nature. They bought bikes and swimsuits and books and art supplies. Read Dr. Seuss and Dr. Dolittle. Bought them instruments. Took them to Paris, Alaska, Hawaii. Provided them with opportunity. Wanted them to be happy and encouraged them to follow their dreams. They followed their own dreams too.
The older I get the more I realize that we chose the life that we want for ourselves and we create a life for our children. I admire how my parents made those choices and I hope that Jeffery and I are able to make choices that our children will one day appreciate.