Once again, today’s subject is one of my favorites! I’m proud of the people all of my children have grown up to be, and, next to Ed, there’s nobody I’d rather post about–well, except for maybe ‘the grands’…
My husband, Ed, had joined the army shortly before we met, and left for duty not long afterward. Due to this, he and I had a limited courtship, between army assignments, but it still didn’t take us long to realize we were meant to be together. Once Ed got out of the army, and I graduated from high school, we immediately got married. I guess you could say Ed and I married, then had our courtship afterward!
For the first five years of our marriage, Ed and I went to the movies, to concerts, dancing, out to eat, on vacations, rode our motorcycle, and enjoyed going out in our boat. We had a great time doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Having babies was the farthest thing on our minds. In fact, both sets of parents had already given up hope of us having any grandchildren for them, when we finally decided to have a baby!
I became pregnant, with our first child, about five and a half years after our wedding day. After six positive pregnancy tests, and a family practitioner who couldn’t figure out if I was pregnant or not, I was referred to an OB/GYN, and had an uneventful pregnancy. Unfortunately, the labor and delivery wasn’t uneventful, but, none-the-less, our daughter made her way into the world, kicking and screaming– or should I say she was dragged out, with forceps, kicking and screaming? She weighed eight pounds, we named her Brandy, and I was scared to death of her!
Brandy, age 5 weeks
I’d never had much experience with babies, and was afraid to even change her diapers, at first. It didn’t take me long to get over my fears, but then poor Brandy came down with colic, so it was a long first three months for both of us! A baby swing is the only thing that saved our sanity. The gentle rocking motion seemed to quiet our screaming daughter, until she finally outgrew the colic.
I always knew I wanted more than one child, because one is a lonely number. (My brother left home when I was just eight, and I’d grown up alone and lonely.) My only stipulation was to get one child out of diapers before giving birth to another. Ed and I found out we were expecting our second child shortly before our daughter’s third birthday, and we were thrilled.
Our first son, Brett, was born in the wee hours of the Monday morning, following Mother’s Day. His was my easiest birth of all. My total labor, from the first pain until delivery was only five hours. Brett was a good baby and a delightful toddler, who loved to sing.
Brett, age 6 months
With two children, a girl and a boy, many thought our family was complete, but I wasn’t so sure. I had plans in the back of my mind for a third child, to be born after the first two started to school, but you know what they say about best laid plans…
I found out I was pregnant with child number three, when Brett was just over two years old. Ed and I had recently changed our healthcare coverage, and were in the ‘waiting period’ before becoming eligible for maternity benefits. Surprise! But what a delightful surprise our third child turned out to be!
Our second son, Brad, was born two weeks after his due date, weighing ten pounds, nine ounces! I delivered him naturally, and thought I was going to die! Labor took 21 hours, and the birth? Well, I hate to even think about how the baby got stuck, halfway out of the birth canal, but all’s well that ends well, right? When I looked over and saw Brad, I simply couldn’t believe that much baby had been in my belly, and exited through such a small opening! My body hasn’t been the same since.
Brad, age 6 months
With the arrival of a third child, our family quickly discovered that two’s company, but three is often a crowd. Oldest son, Brett, didn’t take the arrival of his new baby brother well, at first. A day or two after we brought Brad home from the hospital, Brett cried all night long! Brett cried so long and so hard, Ed took him to the emergency room, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Although Brett loved his brother, the sunny personality Brett used to have, quickly disappeared, replaced by ‘middle child syndrome’, I suppose. At our house, there was often an odd man out, during playtime, which usually became our daughter, once the boys got old enough to play together.
Daughter, Brandy, has always been a ‘mama’s girl’, while the boys tended to gravitate toward Ed. Our boys always shared a bedroom, and became very close–even after Brett’s initial disturbing display of disapproval of the arrival of his new brother. Brett quickly became the ring leader, with Brad happily playing whatever Brett chose to play. Brandy would join in, whenever they would let her.
Easter, 1988 (I think)
All of our children were good students, and did well all through school. Both sons are gifted, and were honor graduates, without actually putting forth a whole lot of effort. Two of the three adolescents gave us little-to-no trouble as teenagers, but our oldest son often kept us on our toes! Brett liked to bend the house rules–or claim he forgot them–and, therefore, caused us more than a few sleepless nights. We’ll blame it on middle child syndrome.
Brett’s 21st birthday
Of course, like most, all three children experienced different kinds of ‘growing pains’ as young adults. Our daughter experienced a ton of heartbreak before finally finding ‘Mr. Right’ (including a broken engagement, amidst wedding preparations). You could say, she went through a couple of toads before finally finding her prince.
Our oldest son, Brett, grew up among neighborhood friends, who later made unwise decisions and became bad influences on him. One particular boy chose the wrong path in life and, but for the grace of God, could have dragged Brett along with him. It took Brett forever to realize that this boy was bad news!
Last, but not least, at different times, both sons went through this crazy transition period, when they dropped out of college, and didn’t want to do much of anything except hang around the house, eat, and sleep! During these crazy transition periods, Ed’s mom gave both boys [at different times] a place to live until they got their lives back on track, ’cause this mama wasn’t having it! Both sons eventually got back on track, earned college degrees, and found jobs! Hallelujah!
photo taken for Mother’s Day 2013
Our daughter, Brandy, briefly attended college, then worked in several business offices, before and after marriage. At this time, Brandy is currently a stay-at-home wife, and home-schooling mom, no doubt the most important job she’ll ever have in life. She has one daughter, Madison.
Oldest son, Brett, is a married father of two young sons, Caden and Chase, and currently works [with computers] at a large university. Brett also spends much of his free time sharing the gospel with others, and continuing his education.
Our youngest, Brad, is married, lives in a nearby city (much to this mama’s dismay), and has a one-year-old son named Evan. Brad earned a degree in accounting, but is currently working out of his field, installing and programing industrial heating/air conditioning controls.
Raising children wasn’t always easy, but I’m SO PROUD of (and thankful for) the up-standing, responsible adults our three children have grown up to become! I’m thankful all have found loving, supportive spouses, and I’m especially thankful all have been blessed to experience the joys (and, sometimes, heartaches) of being parents themselves. Praise the Lord!
***Linking this post up with others @ Retired-not-Tired for Judy’s Memory Monday meme.