For the next few days, I have all of my biological and ‘adopted’ kids under one roof, and this makes me very, very happy.
I wasn’t nearly so comfortable being a parent to toddlers or young children as I am now with teens. If I could have started with this age bracket, I’d have had more than two biological offspring, and instead, I’ve had to ‘adopt’. The youngest accuses me of adopting half of Poulsbo; he exaggerates. Many of his friends, though, do call me mom.
On the left is Ben, my oldest son. He’s tall, smart, handsome, funny, and intensely creative. He lights up a stage in theatre productions and has perfect pitch when he sings in the choir. He dabbles in voice acting and production, another use of his excellent voice. He’s headed off to culinary training in January.
Next to him is Mandy, my stepdaughter. She’s not actually related to me at all, she’s my ex’s wife’s daughter, but she’s a daughter of the heart and I love having her here. She’s brilliant, outgoing, funny, determined, and has a tremendous work ethic. She’s going to Western Oregon University and majoring in biology; she wants to be a cop.
Ashley, Zach’s girlfriend and my ‘adopted’ daughter, is intensely creative and talented, bright, funny, caring and brings out the best in Zach. She’s going to Shoreline Community College for an art transfer degree – and she’s also a musician and an actor.
Zach, my youngest, is tall, smart, handsome, hilarious, mechanically gifted, technically geeky, creative, and treats Ashley like a princess. He’s also going to Shoreline Community College (they live together, with Ben) for a transfer degree in English Education.
Note about Ashley & Zach — with the addition of an accordion and a mandolin this Christmas, they have an entire bandful of musical instruments in their apartment. The aforementioned accordion & mandolin, plus two acoustic guitars, an electric bass, a keyboard, a violin and a clarinet. (I suppose they need brass & drums — give them time.) Any child they have will have no choice but to be musical.
They make the holidays wonderful, adding a level of energy and cheer that is unlike any other. I’m very thankful for them!