They were a match made in heaven – Mom and Dad that is – but they had some more learning to do, and part of that was to have other marriages first. Thus came four of my siblings.
Mom and her first husband had a daughter and son – but he was abusive and in order to survive and protect her kids Mom made the brave (and very unpopular choice in the early sixties) decision to get a divorce. This left her in the unique position of being a single mom that had to work to support her kids. There was no such thing as daycare, so she hired a housekeeper – you know like Alice or Hazel or Mr. Belvedere – Mom’s housekeeper stories alone are enough to fill a blog for a few months – wow! Anyhow, after hiring, firing, and chasing a few away with the pet monkey – mom had a cute little young housekeeper named Dodie that was dating the cute wrangler at the stables – this was handy, as Dodie could take the kids out horseback riding for an activity with some frequency, and the kids became as fond of the wrangler as they were of Dodie.
Meantime, Dad was trying to have children with his first wife and things were not working out in the ordinary way – so they took themselves over to the local Catholic orphanage and spotted and adorable baby boy – they took him home and named him after Dad – well at least his middle name. A little time passed and they thought, heck, let’s go get another one. Though thinking they would bring home a baby, Dad’s first wife spotted a toddler girl in a green dress and a miserable expression – she determined this poor child who no one else had wanted had spent enough time in the orphanage and needed the love that she and Dad could give her. She was right; she fit in very well and thrived in their care. But, some lessons are harder to spot, and as it turns out – Dad’s youth had caused an awful lot of damage to his self-esteem, and he really had just settled on the first girl who would have him, and there wasn’t a passionate love to keep them together – and they had different ideas about the future as well, which was a frustration to them both.