Forty years ago today my parents got married in my grandparents’ living room. My aunt Stephanie was maid of honor. My dad’s siblings asked to come. My grandparents were bowling.
So yeah, on one level it was your typical story of pregnancy before marriage at a young age. I’ve been told this story my whole life. I was that pregnancy. Yet that story was never presented to me as typical. Sometimes funny: the sponge is the worst method of contraception ever. Sometimes wry: my mom’s parents didn’t know how to express their disappointment except through anger at first, hence the bowling. But it’s a story that was never told to me without it being filled with love. My dad fell in love at first sight. And when he told his mom that I was on the way, her reaction was “good, more grand babies and I’ll take care of your father.” My dad’s mom ruled the world.
Now my parents never advocated me getting pregnant at a young age. They wanted and got a different path for me. But they never once made me feel like I wasn’t fiercely wanted and loved. And that love smoothed things. It healed the space between my mom and her parents. The family lore has my mom’s father asking which end to pick me up because I would sleep in a tight ball. And I had my own special language with my grandmother, who couldn’t have loved me more if she tried.
My dad has been gone these 7 years now, and my mom has a wonderful partner in Terry, who also loves fiercely and is deeply empathetic. I feel like celebrating all those loves, past, present, and future is important today. Happy anniversary.