Back in the late 1970s, Hannah and I nearly gave up the idea of having children of our own. As 30-somethings, we weren’t making things happen.
You see, after two years of trying during our 6th and 7th year of marriage, we were thinking that a family was just not in the cards and the Universe was dealing us jokers. So, we just gave up. Quit. But not so fast, my friend.
Carefree and thinking we’d be dinks (i.e. double income no kids) while driving to California, we pulled off deserted Hovatter Road, 50 some miles from the Colorado River in Arizona, and… well, Molly came into our lives eight months and twenty-seven days later on August 5, 1979.
As with many first-timers, Hannah and I were clueless at the parenting game; we were amazed that two days after Molly was born, the nurse at Desert Samaritan Hospital in Mesa, Arizona would actually just send us home with a short pep talk, but no game plan or instruction manual. Hoping for the best, we drove eight pound five ounce Molly to our new home at 1206 East LaJolla Drive in Tempe.
On day ten, Molly cried for seven hours straight. No lie, seven hours! Making the classic first-time parent mistake, we held her, rocked her, sang to soothe her in our arms. Hannah would hold her for 20 minutes while I stood in the backyard with the doors closed behind me so I couldn’t hear Molly’s cries, and then we’d switch roles.
Grasping for straws at 10P, we called the pediatrician who told us to put her in the crib and let her cry for 15 minutes. In five minutes, Molly was asleep, and she had survived her first bout with our parenting.
Moving from Arizona with 2 1/2 year-old Molly and her four-month-old sister Robyn, we settled into life on the coast of Maine. Thinking that raising kids in a small town in New England would be pretty cool, 37 years later we know that we hit our version of the lottery.
Through her public school years, Molly played sports, succeeded academically, later followed me into public education as a teacher, married very well, and rocks as the mother of our grandsons, Owen (7) and Max (5). We couldn’t be more pleased.
Now that she lives but an hour away in Massachusetts, Molly and I have summers for golf. Every two weeks, we arise before dawn to play nine holes at the Amesbury Country Club, a turn of the century course with wide, forgiving, and empty fairways.
Catching up over the past fortnight, we hit second shots if we want, don’t keep score, and celebrate each other’s well-struck shots. After nine holes, we head to the Morning Buzz for coffee and eggs, home fries, and multi-grain toast.
I never could have imagined that life could be so good.
PS We’ll celebrate her 40th tonight.