Elisa and I got married on January 28th, 2006 at Hurricane Separate Baptist Church, just outside of Charleston, Illinois. Just a few months later, after deciding to start on a family, Elisa gave me the news that she was pregnant. I remember being so excited that day. You know, they say that you shouldn’t really tell anyone until the first trimester has passed but I called my friend Danny to let him know. I was going to be a dad. I’ve done that twice now. And, what I mean by that is make babies. I’ve made two of them and both times were planned. No accidents or oops moments in this family. But, understand what I am getting at here. This is not a judgment of any kind. It’s just how it is.
Parenting children is extremely difficult. I have found it to be the hardest thing I have ever taken on and we were planning on it from the get-go. I cannot even fathom how hard it would be for two individuals who didn’t have that plan.
See, I was an oops baby.
There was no plan for me. From what I understand, my parents weren’t even together when my mother became pregnant. It seems like they had been together but had broken up. I might have been the product of a hookup at a party or something.
Regardless, their plans were not to start a family. Everything changed very quickly for them, very quickly. They decided to get married because it was the right thing to do.
My dad had a job in St. Louis so my mom moved out there with him and they lived with my aunt. Eventually, they chose to move back out to Louisville, Illinois where my sister and I grew up.
I remember my mom and dad fighting quite a bit throughout my life and they didn’t seem to be very compatible, especially as my mother got back into the church.
Dad fell further and further into alcoholism and the gap between them became too great to fix.
I remember sitting at the top of the stairs one Christmas eve, listening to them fight. Mom was making threats to divorce dad and, strangely enough, that was exciting to me.
At that point, I felt like having parents in two different homes would be better than having them fight constantly in one. I often wondered if my mother had any regrets about the way that life turned out for her. She worked all of the time and when she was home, she was so tired.
The house was in disrepair and there really wasn’t much that she could do about it. Every once in a while, the police would come by the house looking for dad or she would have to bail him out of jail or pay a DUI. I wouldn’t blame her if she had regrets. Living in our home must have been incredibly difficult.
Then, one day she told me about her opinion on this matter. She said she would not have changed a thing about her life. Despite all the hardships that she endured in that marriage, she got me and my sister out of it. That made it worth it.
I learned a lot of lessons on what to avoid in marriage and parenting by watching my parents as I grew up. I made a mental list of things that I simply would not repeat in my home (don’t we all).
Yet, I guess I am grateful that those two kids got drunk at a party and brought me into this world. I just wish the circumstances could have been better, for their sake.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.