I have to admit that I never thought that this is how family life would be. I mean that in the very best way; the family we have created is very different that the family that I grew up in.
There is togetherness. A family movie night; the adults might not always be 100% interested in seeing a children's movie and yet we enjoy it. We sit together, four on the couch, and snuggle with our feet up on the ottoman. We pause to grab the homemade pizza from the kitchen and break the rules to eat the in the living room.
There are shared interests. We are all passionate about trains both big and small. We like to walk and hike together, especially in nature where we can enjoy the beauty and pick up acorns and pine cones. We're all crazy about German Shepherd dogs (and our own in particular). We play games together (especially games that involve trains).
There is shared work. I wrote last night about us cleaning house together. Growing up, once the children were old enough to clean the house the adults were excused from doing so. We simmered with resentment. Working together not only gets everything done more quickly but it creates a sense of shared satisfaction. We share big chores together as well; cleaning out the garage, doing yard work, etc.
There is shared learning. We are all involved in home learning; Papa is not excluded. We bring things to the boys, but they bring things to us as well. We are all learning new things everyday.
There is such a sense of us. Of us being together in this life, at this moment, as a team. Of supporting each other and cheering each other on. Of helping each other when things are hard and laughing together when things are funny. Of knowing that each of us has times when we are the weakest member, but also times when we are the strongest.
We Papa and I married our vows were not the typical in sickness and in health, etc. They were beautiful in their Scottish simplicity: I promise to be a loving, loyal, and faithful wife/husband to you, for as long as we both shall live. So few words, yet so encompassing. No matter the situation (sickness, health, richer, poorer, joy, sorrow) etc. we're covered. There are no loopholes; if we encounter an unknown foe we can't say that it wasn't in the vows. And without our ever saying so I know that we have extended these vows to our children. To be loving, even though we don't always feel it (but mostly we do). To be loyal (such a Scottish thing to have in vows!), unswerving in our dedication to them, our belief in them, and our support (emotional) of them. And to be faithful as parents, to see the bond with our children as unbreakable and our marriage worthy of constant tending so that we always provide these children with a family to grow in that includes both parents. I know that it is our goal to uphold these vows not only to each other but to our children. I can't predict the future, but I can know our true intent.