Ten years…. A house, a couple of cars, three kiddos, a dog and a wealth of knowledge is what I’ve gained in ten years of marriage to Mr. Jonathan Paxton. I can honestly say that I don’t regret a minute of it. I love him more today than I did ten years ago although I certainly didn’t think that was possible when I repeated my vows and said I do. The last ten years of my life have not been perfect but they have been the best ten years of my life.
When we got married, we didn’t have the newlywed time of just being a couple. We were instantly parents. Our daughter is from my first marriage. From the very beginning, Jonathan said that he didn’t feel like he could truly love me with all his heart unless he truly loved Hollie. In turn, he said he couldn’t love Hollie unless he had a genuine respectful relationship with her Dad. Instantly, I admired him for that. I have always been very thankful that Jonathan took that approach to this situation. It not only benefited our relationship by taking away the tension of what could’ve been an uncomfortable situation for years to come but it blessed Hollie. She has not one Dad but two. She knows that they both dearly love her and will go above and beyond to take care of her. This might’ve been one of the first and most valuable lessons I learned from this union. If you love somebody enough (in this situation, there were three people who loved one little girl very much) you will do whatever it takes to make that relationship work. I should’ve known then and there that God had something very special planned for us because it was that very special “Life lesson” that has carried us through many difficult situations since then. We’ve been through several job losses (the IT industry isn’t always the most stable), two difficult pregnancies, personal health issues, and the roller coaster ride of parenting two beautiful active healthy kiddos and one beautiful medically complex baby boy. What I’ve learned through that is what I’ve already said… It comes down to selfless, sacrificial love for the other person. Thankfully we had that very solid deep rooted foundation before our little caboose was born because life was full steam ahead from the moment they placed him in our arms. Our lives were changed with each of our children. With Hollie, we learned together how to co-parent. I had to step back at times and let him do things for her that I had always done. Otherwise, the two of them never would have developed their own relationship. Aidan was our first son. He was Jono’s first baby and he made us all a “blended” family of four! Life was busy no doubt but we were still a young couple with two kids, two incomes, and one mortgage. We had it all under control. With Lydon, our world changed! We suddenly became a family of five, the kids outnumbered the adults and one of those babies required the attention of both of us at times. Jonathan and I have become different individuals and approach parenting much differently now than we did ten years ago. We now appreciate the simpler things in life much more than we use to. We use to take for granted having dinner together as a family and become very frustrated with the hustle and bustle of the daily bedtime routine. Don’t get me wrong, those frustrations still exist. Sometimes even more so than they use to ( it generally takes me close to an hour to get Lydon’s nightly meds done, rocked and in bed with pulse ox, oxygen, and feeding tube all connected) but it’s much easier now to remind each other of what life is like when are separated because of a hospitalization for days and sometimes weeks at a time. We have learned how to be less judgmental not only of each other but of others in general. We work harder now to instill this mindset in our children. We have learned how to be more mindful of each others needs. We’ve always appreciated each other but we are both more apt to do something simple for the other like taking out the trash or making up the bed. That being said, we’ve also learned not to be nearly as frazzled when somebody forgets trash day or the beds do not get made. We’ve learned that you more consciously have to make time for each other and we both work hard at this. Sometimes that means picking up dinner and not feeling guilty about it or cleaning up the kitchen so that the other one can take a hot bath. It’s easier now to live in the moment than it use to be. I sometimes find myself thankful that I was stopped by a train because it forces me to stop the car and sit in that moment. I’ve closed my eyes and whispered a prayer or two, made an important phone call, clipped fingernails and sometimes just sat and done absolutely nothing as I watched the train pass ever so slowly.