Have Been For 7 + Years Now
It has been just me and the kiddos for over 7 years now. I have three kids, two boys 19 and 13, and my little princess, who is 8. When I first got custody of them they were 12, 6 and 16 months. At first it was completely overwhelming and sometimes even quite frightening. I mean, what did I know about raising a tiny little baby girl, still in diapers, by myself?!? (Not too mention her two older brothers!) But as time went on, I figured it all (or most of it) out. I learned to cook, clean, balance schedules, be a dad AND a mom, braid hair, wipe noses and butts, be a best bud and a disciplinarian all in one package, and so much more. I am not saying that it has not been a challenge. Two years ago, I had a son who was a senior in high school (oh, fun fun) a son in 5th grade, and a daughter in kindergarden.... now THAT was a challenge!!!! My oldest son was a nationally ranked distance swimmer throughout Jr High and High school, he had to be up at 4:30 and at the pool by 5:15 with a huge load of food in hand (he had to consume close to 6000 calories a day just to keep weight on), that means that I had to get the little ones up and drag them along even in the worst of conditions, to get him to practice.... my middle son had soccer, basketball, choir, and a plethora of other activities. (He is the social butterfly of the family) My daughter had dance, soccer, swim lessons and so many play dates that it wasn't funny! My days began at 4 AM, making breakfast burritoes and power shakes and didn't end until 9 PM, when the homework was done, the showers were taken, teeth were brushed, and prayers were said. Then I had a few minutes to myself to check my email and talk to friends, etc before I collapsed into bed. But we all made it through and are doing very well today. We enjoy life a lot and are very close. We travel together and are all very good friends. We have always been a TEAM, relying on one another and understanding that we were all each others best friends and greatest supporters, NO MATTER WHAT!!! That has always been a precept for our lives!
You'll never hear me brag about myself, or what I have done in life, (My dad always taught us that "It ain't braggin' if you done it, its just tellin' the story. Be proud of who you are, and what you've done) but the proudest point in my life is that I have friends who have kids and they constantly compliment me on my kids, how well behaved, polite and intelligent they are(they have all been involved in the GATE 'Gifted And Talented Education' program').... At the kids elementary school (which all of them have attended) they call me 'Superdad'.
Sorry if this sounds self serving, but this is a story that I really wanted to share. Its been a long, wonderful trip and looking back I know now that I wouldn't change a second of it! Not looking forward to the destination, just enjoying the journey, because it will all end far, far too soon....