Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the dream

This morning when Elizabeth woke up, she told me that she wanted to draw a picture of a dream she had last night. Since I was in the middle of preparing breakfast, I grabbed her a small notepad and pen and didn't really focus on my daughter as she sat down to sketch a picture of ... who knows what.

A kitten perhaps?

Maybe a unicorn?

After a few quiet minutes, Elizabeth proudly presented the drawing from her dream. This is a picture of me. With six babies in my tummy. Elizabeth couldn't recall if the total number of babies in my tummy included she and her three siblings, or if these were six new babies.

Let's just say that if either of these scenarios comes to fruition, particularly the latter, it's a good thing my husband knows CPR because I'd undoubtedly go in to cardiac arrest.

Speaking of CPR...

St is the randomly generated lucky winner of a CPR Anytime Kit! St, please send me an e-mail at TheAmazingTrips(at)gmail.com and I'll have your kit sent off as soon as I can.

And speaking of adding six new babies to our family...

I've joked before that if Charlie and I were to add sextuplets to our clan, we would refer to our family as Charlie and Jen Plus Ten. Which, of course - I borrowed that description directly from the hugely popular television show Jon and Kate Plus Eight. A show which I've only watched once or twice, because I get the premise. And there is absolutely no entertainment value for me watching a reality show in my spare time about a family that is outnumbered by multiples.

But tonight as Charlie was channel surfing, he stumbled on to Jon and Kate and together we sat and watched as they celebrated their children's fifth birthday. And at least what is being portrayed on television, as the collapse of their marriage.

At the end of the show, while they sat talking to the camera, all I could think was that although there are two sides to every story, it was clear that Jon and Kate had each dug their own trenches - erected their own walls - and were lobbing bombs over to the other side.

Yet they both said something along the lines of, "Regardless of what happens, we're going to do whatever we can to protect and make the best lives for our children."

Now I know that not all marriages can or should be saved. But by and large, the issues that divide most couples start out very simply. And it seems to me that if Jon and Kate really want to protect and make the best lives for their children, they will do whatever they can to get their marriage on the right track.

This might be extremely difficult. It might take a lot of forgiveness. It might take putting aside their pride. It might take improving their communication skills. It might take a complete overhaul and re-prioritization of their lives. It will definitely take loving each other, unconditionally.

But as the child of a divorce, there is no more important fight than the one that will keep a family together. Charlie and I will be celebrating our 15 year wedding anniversary later this year. I know that our marriage isn't perfect. But we try to make each other happy. And we know that at the end of the day, the best gift that we could ever give to our children, is the love that we have for one another.

In fact, this church service that we attended last year, is still at the forefront of our minds ... almost ten months later.

Here's yet another masterpiece drawn by Elizabeth. This depicts Charlie and I on our wedding day. (I'm the blushing bride on the left.) And in case you were wondering, Charlie's not screaming. I spoke to the artist and she verified that he is indeed smiling. And apparently, jumping up and clicking his heels.

Probably because one day, he might be the father of 10 children.


  1. I think Charlie and Jen plus Ten would be loads more entertaining than Jon and Kate Plus 8!! :) What happened to that offer about the reality show, by the way? Is anything going ahead?

  2. Nope, no word on the show. I had several triplet families in San Diego contact them and no one has heard anything back. So either they were inundated with replies and haven't had a chance to respond - or - they've already made their selection. OR... the whole thing's a farce. Tough to say.

    But after watching Jon & Kate tonight, I don't know if I could handle having cameras following me around... I might crack.

  3. We watched that last night too. My 9 year old LOVES the show, but I won't have her watch that episode. It is very sad to me to see anohter marriage struggle (hopefuly they will struggle and succeed). I agree with you and I hope they do indeed put the kids first and put their relationship back together.

  4. Hey Jen...it's been a long while since I've checked into the "blogging" world. As you may have noticed, I haven't made an entry since August of last year. Me and my husband fell into the Jon and Kate category unfortunately. We celebrated our 15th anniversary in January of '08. He told me on August 31st of '08 that he wasn't happy...he was DONE. I mentioned counseling and he refused. Little did I realize HOW much we had grown apart...add to it the fact that he had met someone new at his new job and was suffering from a temporary mid-life crisis. Our divorce was final in December...it was put on the fast track b/c my best friend is a divorce attorney. I never in my wildest dreams would've imagined raising my family as a single mom. I thought we had the secret to success...EVERYone else did too. There's not ONE person that's found out about us and would have EVER imagined this would happen. I tried, I threw fits and cried and have never hurt so much in my entire life. It's hard to find a rational reason for all of this in an irrational person. It absolutely sucks, but I'm making the best of it. The kids are suffering the most...especially my 11 yr old daughter. Watching Jon and Kate talk last night brought back a lot of the same feelings I dealt with... I have come SO far in 9 months. I didn't know I was such a strong person, but when you have kids, you have no choice but to go on. It's all HIS loss...I have it all, the house, the kids (except every other wkend), my family and TONS of friends that have stepped up for me in ways I could've never imagined. He's the one that's lost his friends, family and missing out on seeing them grown up on a daily basis. Divorce is a sad, sad thing, but at the same time I can't tell you what a feeling of freedom I have. I just wanted to touch base with you...this seemed like a good entry to do that on. Sorry to ramble.

  5. I like watching J&K but didn't catch last night episode. I have to agree with you though. Great drawings by Elizabeth.

  6. Teresa: I sent you an e-mail that I hope you receive. But if not, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear what has happened over the past year.

    Divorce is so difficult and having been through it, I know how it can flip a child's world upside down. But, it makes a huge difference if the parents are happy and doing well. From your note, it sounds like YOU are.

    There is no doubt that this is your husband's loss. And if he hasn't realized it yet, I'll bet that one day ... he will.

  7. Another post I really enjoyed reading. The drawing with six babies is a riot : ) What you wrote about marriage really connected with me, I even shared your thoughts with my hubby.

  8. What a great post, and wow she has an imagination, love the Charlie and Jen plus ten! I did not see that episode but I know its all been in the media lately. I do hope they work things out. I do like watching that show because it just makes me realize twins are a breeze in comparison!

  9. You sound like you don't want 6 more! Just imagine the workouts you'd get pushing a sextuplet stroller! ;o)

    I watched J&K+8 last night and feel the same way you do - that they're in defense mode and are just lobbing bombs at each other. It's really sad. It really looks to me like Jon is trying to assert himself as an individual and Kate won't stand for it. She's got a life away from the house with her press tours, Jon doesn't have any of that. He doesn't have a job outside of the house. Kate's head has gotten so large that she's treating Jon like an employee, not her husband. She needs to deflate that head of hers and apologize to her husband for being a giant c***.

    I honestly hope that they work it out. I know they love each other, but Kate needs to stop thinking that she needs to do everything herself and that no one else is good enough to take care of her children or her household.

  10. Well, since I was at your wedding, almost 15 years ago, I have to say that the picture Elizabeth has drawn looks just like how I remembered that day! Can't believe it's been 15 years since I've driven across the country!!!

  11. The picture is adorable. However, you do look a little stressed. I guess 10 kids could do that to you. LOL Love the wedding picture.


  12. Thank you for the kind words Jen. I didn't receive your email though. I will be fine...I didn't realize how strong I really am. It's my daughter that is struggling right now and that it my focus.

    I still have to get my amazing trips fix every once in a while. :)

  13. Oh yes, I love the Charlie and Jen plus Ten statement, I see some potential here!!! I haven't tuned in to Jon and Kate, just can't bring myself to do it.

    Love the pics, children are amazing (but I guess your blog title shows you already know that)! ;o)

  14. Good advice. When my oldest was 5 months old I made the blindingly teary statement to my father in law that the best thing I can do is make sure my relationship with my daughter is the best it can be.

    He said, don't stress that relationship, make sure your relationship with your husband is the best it can be, your children will benefit more from that than any other single thing you can do for them.

    10 years on, I still remember that advice, we are into 16 years of marriage, we have had our trials, we have had our failures. But we have a great relationship and I can see it in my childrens confidence and outlook on life. Being a part of a happy family is the best thing we can give to our kids.

    Great advice.

  15. OMG, Charlie and Jen plus 4 is enough for us. It's just Larry and Cathy and now down to 2 cats.

    You are incredibly inspirational! You have 4 of the most beautiful children, you both work and still occasionally have time for each other, AMAZING.

  16. If all the divorced kids turn out like you, the world will be a better place. Of course, the car incident helped to make you what you are today.

  17. It was killing me when Kate was saying, "Its complicated". No... it's not complicated. Neither of you are communicating effectively, forgiving one another nor compromising. My kids have really gotten a kick out of watching the show, but this reality tv show right now is too REAL. Hopefully they'll work it out...I 'll tune in again when they do. - Holly W