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Oct 27

Book excerpt, poem–Perhaps By Then

The following excerpt comes from the beginning of my book in the section titled, Becoming Family, which focuses on how each of our children came to be a part of our family:

O

urearliest experience as parents began shortly before our fifth anniversary when we purchased our first house and became the legal guardians of my husband’s eleven year-old twin brother and sister. We also started doing foster care. Although I was twenty-four, I didn’t look a day over fourteen.

On his return from a business trip, my husband brought home a couple of sun visors for the kids. There were lights all around the rims of each one. On our date, we went into an electronics store to buy some nine volt batteries for each of the sun visors. My husband asked the cashier for the batteries and then had me wait there at the cash register while the salesman was getting them. The salesman returned with the batteries, and the following conversation ensued:

So, is your dad buying these batteries for your radio?  Puzzled, I looked at him with a blank stare on my face.

That is your dad, isn’t he?

That’s my husband. We’ve been married for five years and we have five children. His mouth dropped open. He acted as though he was in shock.

Hey, Mike, he called to his co-worker, did you know that these guys are married and they have five children?

 For the duration of our stay, he couldn’t keep from talking about it.

This poem reflects the many times I was mistaken for my husband’s daughter, even though he is only three and a half years older than me. At age fifty, it appeared that I was twenty years younger.

Perhaps by Then

 They say I married young to someone twice as old

Accusing him of stealing from the crib.

So oft, they’ve posed the question,

So you brought along your dad?

And to him they’ve asked, Is this one of your kids?

I guess it’s cause I’m ageless, stuck looking like a child;

My husband’s daughter and sister to my kids.

Maybe when I’ve aged some more

And my youth begins to fade,

Perhaps by then they’ll see I’m not his kid.

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