Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Kids

Like a lot of Americans I have a blended family. I have four kids that I love with all my heart and who I think are as precious as diamonds.  They are my reason for not giving up. Oh yeah, the cliché is you want to dance at their weddings but that cliché becomes even more important after you have a stroke.

They are Maya 19, Jenna 17, and the twins Miles and Griffin, who are both 11. One thing I say about the twins is that I know way too much about Sponge Bob and Patrick and Mr. Krabs. If you have no idea who they are, good for you but if you do, welcome to the party.

Both Denise and I were married before and brought a child to our marriage. Maya is my daughter, Jenna is hers and the boys are ours. Yours, mine and ours.

First Maya.

I always tell Maya that she changed my name from Mark to Daddy. She did. I learned how to change diapers from her. I also learned patience. I learned you could love something, SOMEONE so much it actually hurts. And I learned to see the world in a brand new way. It was an adventure with her every day.

She grew up in New York, the city, which was a bit different. Even though it was Manhattan, Maya learned to ride a bike there.
We went to a diner where she learned to eat chocolate chip pancakes with a knife and fork. We went to preschool. One of my favorite memories is the kids were putting on a play one day and when they all came out to the room where the parents were, Maya saw me and said, “Hi Daddy!” One of the dads said to me he wished his kid would do that.

Made me feel ten feet tall.

 I remember she was real little (in diapers) when she heard music for the first time. To this day Maya has a great voice and great musical taste, if I must say so myself. Maya was 13 when she turned me on to this new singer singing a song called “Chasing Pavements.” It was Adele before she became the Adele.

When I had my stroke Maya was 10. She flew down and saw me laid up in the hospital. To be honest, I was a bit embarrassed to have her see me there but there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it. Seeing her made me even more determined to beat this thing that had almost killed me. I didn’t want her to tell stories about the Dad she used to have.

On to rehabilitation.

Whenever I was inclined to give up I would see her face. Over the years Maya grew up and I grew stronger.  I’ll be honest, rehab is not a lot of fun and games but it’s good for you and it is something you have to do.

So many memories…Maya went on to play volleyball in high school where she was a lioness. She was also MVP. A Most Valuable Player. Maya sang in musicals like How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I was in the audience the night they put that on and she tore it up onstage. Also, imagine her getting her learners permit. I helped teach her to drive. Say no more, say no more.

Through the years Maya has inspired me to go further, to reach higher. From running, which I thought I would never do, to using my right hand more which had been injured in the stroke. I can hear her saying, "Come on, Daddy, you can do it."

Good stuff.

She now is a sophomore in college and I like her as well as love her. As a father you love all your kids but liking them is different. Parents will know what I'm talking about.

Dance at her wedding.

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  1. It is a marvelous thing for a father to attribute so much of his positivity to his children, even including those added by marriage. This is a beautiful post, and I look forward to the next one about Jenna.

  2. Thank you for your openness with your family. It is encouraging and enlightening for a father to share the experience of a blended family.You are a good man and a gentleman. And you are an inspiration.