The married-with-children chapter of my life began in May, 2003, when I married a guileless Italian boy from Boston named Joe. We met at a Super Bowl party the year Tom Brady won his first ring behind center with the Patriots. Joe’s sense of humor and style, his strong faith and smarts (not to mention the soy lattes he used to sneak me at his Starbucks job) easily secured the deal.
Now in its seventh year, Joe’s career as a college baseball coach has taken us 1322 miles away from his family in Boston and 860 miles away from my family outside of Washington, D.C., to a little town in the Midwest three hours from the nearest city and airport. (Once Joe realized he could turn his talent and passion for baseball into a career the subsidized soy lattes quickly became a thing of the past.) Both of our families are large, loving and supportive, which makes it all the more difficult to be so widely separated from them. At the same time though, living away has helped strengthen and solidify our own family unit, which we like to refer to as “Team Scarano.” Since June, 2007, Joe and I have moved seven times -- more opportunity for team-building!
Three years after we married, our first child, Christian, was born in Boston. Christian is everything any parent could want in a first child – he walked early, talked early and continues to be ahead-of-the curve in every way. Christian is handsome, smart (smarter than me sometimes I’m afraid), and athletic. Before his second birthday he could hit a wiffle ball that was pitched to him, and not just any sort hit either, I’m talking line-drive. This summer he won the best boy dribbler award at soccer camp for the five and six year-old age group. Christian was just four. The only thing Christian is not good at yet? Compliance.
Henry joined the family two years and four months after Christian, and six weeks before his due date. Henry weighed just 4 lbs. 11 oz. when he was born in Jackson, Tennessee. I think he has been making up for his low birth weight ever since. Henry is rarely late for a meal, in fact he actually cheers and jumps up and down when it’s time to eat. Henry looks just like Joe’s father, which is appropriate since he is named after him. It’s also appropriate because big Henry is 100 percent Italian and little Henry is every Italian stereotype you can think of (aside from the hairy chest and gold chains). He is loud, loquacious, loves to party, and did I mention he loves to eat?
In October, 2010, the newest addition to our family arrived, Brandy Rose. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to adopt this sweet-natured Lab mix and hope she survives life with her two adoring, big brothers.
When Christian was 14 months old (and I was 29), I earned my bachelor's of liberal arts degree from Harvard University's Extension School. Seven years of working during the day, driving to Cambridge at night for class, and I achieved something I will be proud of for the rest of my life. In September, 2010, I returned to work full-time. Just like living apart from family, my new job has been a blessing and a challenge. The added income has allowed us to purchase our first home. The added hours away means I have to leave my most precious possessions, my two boys, in the care of someone else five days a week.
The last thing I would write about myself is that I am a deep-feeler. This helps make me a sensitive and sympathetic person (the good). It also makes me, on occasion, depressed (the bad). I am ever trying to balance the pretty and the ugly, seeking to appreciate and cultivate the introspective and thoughtful side of my personality, while not allowing the perfectionism and moodiness that comes with it to interfere with my life and relationships.
I have done things somewhat backwards -- first marriage, then children (well, so far so good), next the college degree, then the first house. (I am still waiting for the career part to develop.) But that is what I like about my life. It's different. It's beautiful.