Secret lives and private stories

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A year ago I started Vampire Maman…

Click here for a bit about the other blog: A year ago I started Vampire Maman….

Love at First Sight – 20 Years Later

Yes, an original sappy article on West Coast Review….

Love at First Sight  – 20 Years Later

20 years ago (sometime in the past month or two) I want walking on the river with my ex-live-in-boyfriend. He was sweet that day, and mature and handsome. So good looking that he was often stopped and asked if he was a certain Hollywood leading man (we live in California so leading men are in town from time to time and a few even live not too far away).

He asked me if, after 18 months after I moved out, if I’d consider getting back together with him. It was very sweet. BUT….

I told him I’d been seeing someone for a few months and I really liked him. I thought he might be “the one” and I wanted to be with him – the new guy.

20 years and almost 17 years married and a teenage daughter later…I’m still with the new guy.

I was right; he was “the one”.

I knew he was the one because it was love at first sight. I’ll write that down again LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. Yes, it happens. It is real.

We’ve been through a lot over the past 20 years, good and bad, but it keeps getting better.

I met him through a friend who’d (before I met him) described my husband as “An asshole with a big nose”.  Now my daughter says, “Dad rocks the big nose.”

He walked into the room and I knew. I just knew. Instant attraction. He was cute with a smile and moved like he owned the world. We started to talk – for hours. He was 31. I was 34. It was like we’d known each other for years.

And now we HAVE known each other for years.

This is why I love him:

  • I knew he’d make a great dad. He said he wanted to be a great dad. I also knew that he would be a partner in parenting – not leave it all up to me or see me as a rival for a child’s attention. He never had a father so he was bound and determined to be a good dad.
  • He is a flirt. I mean this in the best way. When he walks into a room he can make every single woman in the room feel beautiful and special. I mean every woman – ugly, beautiful, young, old, low self esteem. It is a joy to see.
  • He irons and does laundry. Really. He irons MY SHIRTS.
  • He cleans.
  • He cooks like an Iron Chef. Really. And he cleans it up.
  • He fixes things…cars, furniture, stuff around the house, jewelry, anything.
  • He is usually the straight man in the relationship but that’s ok.
  • He is such a guy. He isn’t one of those sensitive guys that wants to listen to Kenny-G (no offense to Kenny-G fans) and sit in the tub for hours until we’re prunes. He is a romantic but in way that isn’t trivial or trite.
  • He puts up with all of my weirdness. Aside from this blog I write a Vampire Mommy blog (he never reads my writing but thinks it is good but still thinks it is weird). I have some odd friends. I make nonstop puns and jokes. I break everything and spill everything. I forget things. My glasses are always dirty. I’m a mess. And he loves me through it all.
  • He thinks I’m a good mom.
  • He likes a family dinner every night – not so I have to cook after a long day at work (which I let him do as much as possible) but so we can talk, as a family. We talk about everything, school, work, friends, science, art, history, the turkeys that walk down the street…everything.
  • Which leads me to say that he talks. We communicate. He makes and effort and it pays off.
  • He has always been there for me through every crisis with my family.
  • He loved my dad. He said my father was the dad he never had. That means a lot.
  • He is interested in EVERYTHNG! Cars, art, antiques, fishing, books, sports, electronics, travel, nature, space, education – everything.
  • He takes parenting seriously.
  • He always puts our daughter and me first. We are his family. We’re not the family he was born into – we’re the family he picked.
  • And that is the short list. Did I mention he irons? Did I mention how cute he is? Did I mention how good he looks all dressed up in a suit?

I found out two days ago that he is in remission. Yes, the big C came to our house. And he told it HELL no. Thanks to early screening and aggressive treatment and good doctors.

Another big thing: I found his family. He didn’t know who is father was. I searched for 6 years and found not so dear old dad, but I also found a wonderful, fantastic, amazing family INCLUDING an older sister he never even knew about. He was 40 years old.

Now at age 50, and 20 years together, he is always holding my hand, sitting close, stealing a kiss, telling me he loves me and being there for me always. And in turn, I am there for him.

Moms of a “certain age” ROCK.

Moms of a “certain age” ROCK.

I’m pretty disgusted at the way the media and a few other writers try to explain how guilty “older mothers” should feel. They portray us as selfish work obsessed driven women who are desperately grasping at the last straws of youth. Give me a f_ing break.

Excuse me? What is their problem? Why can’t they just get over it? Why can’t they mind their own business? My great-grandmother was 44 when my grandmother was born in 1908. Women over 40 have been having happy, healthy, well-adjusted babies for centuries. And oh, did I forget to mention that women over 35 will continue to have SEX with men – and not feel guilty about it.

At 53 I feel younger and more hip than I have in years. No I’m not dressing in stupid looking clothes from the junior department or acting foolish.

The reason I feel young is because I have a 13 year old daughter.

She was born a few months shy of my 40th birthday.

I didn’t delay having children due to my career. I just wanted it to be the right time with the right man.

Yes, I suppose, much to the chagrin of past boyfriends of mine (many of them nice, handsome, smart men) I could have just had a baby on my own but that didn’t happen. I didn’t want to be a single mom. Also the first man I’ll planned to have kids with died. I don’t have to explain that to anyone – and it isn’t anyone’s business.

I had a few infertility issues. No guilt there. I used painkillers during labor. No guilt there. I’m in my 50’s and not even thinking of grandkids. No guilt there.

Nor do I have guilt about only having one child. At least once every few weeks someone mentions how close my daughter and I are. We talk. We laugh. She talks and laughs with her dad.  We’re a tight little family. And so no guilt there either.

I’ve had 5 miscarriages (the first when I was in my 20’s). I have one perfect, wonderful and amazing child. I am happy. No guilt there either.

If you are a good parent, no matter what your age, what your income, what your sexual preference or what your choices in your past life are – screw everyone who questions your judgment or makes you try to feel bad about your parenting choices.

There is nothing to feel bad about if you have a happy, healthy, successful, well-adjusted child with a good sense of humor. Period. End of article.

~ Marla Todd Kings (aka Charlotte’s mom)

My happy well adjusted daughter Charlotte - at a regional artistic roller skating championship - doing what she loves to do (I can't skate, I just glue stones on the dress and cheer. She picked the sport.)
My happy well adjusted daughter Charlotte – at a regional artistic roller skating championship – doing what she loves to do (I can’t skate, I just glue stones on the dress and cheer. She picked the sport.)













For more on parenting (in a weird offbeat sort of way) visit the blog (musings of a modern Vampire mom).