Family

 

Dennis and I met in college, on an art history field trip, when I was eighteen and he was nineteen. It was immediately serious, and we dated all through college until we married in 2003. He works in animation for video games, and we share a love for the arts and storytelling. We are both too sensitive to ever be mean to each other; we both understand creative drive and how important our personal ambitions are to our happiness, and so we push each other to keep going, artistically. We tease each other and dump our stresses on each other and hold hands when we watch TV at night. He is a thoughtful husband, goofy, enthusiastic, immensely caring dad, and is talented and ambitious in his art. I am forever grateful to have found him.

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Our first child Fiona was born in 2008. She is quiet, mysterious, and sweet at school, but fiercely opinionated, creative, and strong-willed at home. She cares passionately for her favorite people, and is always the biggest cheerleader for holidays and birthdays and family time, rallying the troops for the next big event. Like me, she has to manage the anxiety and expectations that go along with caring “too much.” She is tall, uniquely beautiful, and emotionally mature beyond her years; she is goofy and quirky and honest. She asks the best, most meaningful questions, and she holds us all together. I love her heart; I love our bedtime talks.

Our baby Jack was born in 2011. If Fiona is the moon, he is the sun – platinum blonde as a toddler, dangerously brave and over-confident, cuddly and with such a bright smile. I thought he would be the only extrovert of our family, but it turns out that’s just his swagger – he loves to be home and “off duty” as much as the rest of us. He is more competitive, susceptible to flashes of anger, but he also has soft spots for cute animals, babies, and of course, us. He wants to make everyone happy, and is quick to comfort me  or Fiona in moments of distress. He is also just plain fun and funny. I adore him, and probably kiss him to the point of annoyance on a daily basis.

As a family, we are sarcastic, artsy, liberal, emotional and silly.

Like everyone, we are busy and lead messy lives, but I am learning that if we take the time to just be together, cultivating our love, our love is always there waiting for us. The roots grow deeper every year. And we see the blossoms all around us.

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Julia

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