It's been brought to my attention that I've never actually explained the make-up of my family, so here ya go. My parents have been married...more than 30 years, definitely. I can't remember the exact number. Sorry, Mom! If you ask my parents how many children they planned on having, Mom will say, "Well, I wanted six, your dad wanted four, so we settled on eight!"
My parents had five girls first. I'm the oldest. Julie is twenty-six and a travel nurse with her own blog. Katie is...actually, I don't know what Katie does!...but she is twenty-three and lives in Minnesota (too far away from home!). Emily is twenty-one and getting ready to graduate from college with a degree in accounting. Elizabeth is eighteen and a freshman in college. We are all very close (they were all my bridesmaids in my wedding), even though we live in different cities.
Then came the boys. Joe is sixteen, a junior in high school, and plays the guitar (even with the casts on). My parents knew he was going to be a boy, but Dad's famous words in the delivery room were, "It's a boy, Nora! It's a real boy!" Apparently he still had doubts :). Bryan, who is fifteen, quickly followed. He's a sophomore in high school and...I have no idea what he does for extra-curriculars (besides dating and being fantastic with kids and animals). Mom?
And last, but certainly not least, there's Michael. He's twelve, a seventh grader, and plays basketball. Michael was born just two months before I graduated from high school, so I missed out on a lot of his "firsts." What I didn't miss, though, was the excitement that preceded his birth. The first seven of us were lazy babies, so Mom had to be induced with each of us. But Michael knew he was missing out, so he got the show on the road himself. One of my fondest childhood memories is of my father completely losing his cool when he realized that his wife was in labor at 1 in the morning. I suppose he was used to getting a memo well in advance of the big event, and I have never seen the man move so fast. My poor mother kept begging him to just let her sit down for a second, and he finally yelled, "You're not having the baby here!" in a panicked voice before literally dragging her to the car. Now, he had seen seven births before this...surely he could have figured out what to do?! Then, well, unfortunately for him, when he started the car, the fuse to the headlights blew. What fun :). I remember watching him put one foot out of the car, then back in, then out again, then back in, before Mom finally said, "For heaven's sake, Dennis, just change the damn fuse!" Apparently, he was trying to decide whether to change the fuse or move mom to a different vehicle. Lucky for Dad, they made it to the hospital in plenty of time for what Mom fondly recalls as the "easiest labor I ever had." I know Mom always wanted that experience of being able to say, "My water broke!" and I'm so glad she got the chance with her last one. It was really special to witness these two "parenting professionals" acting like first-timers.