What’s going on with the Dexters? No Christmas letter this year? All these cryptic facebook postings…..I know, I owe everyone a million calls, and I have no excuse really, other than the fact that, well, a LOT has been going on over here.
Aside from my recent Charlie and the Chocolate factory moment gone awry, a few much bigger, life-expanding changes have happened in our family.
First of all, In January Cristen and Rob split. Their careers were pulling them in different directions, and the long distance was too much. It was a shock to everyone, and it’s been very hard for her. But she is a strong girl, and she will love again. (Not that it will be easy to find another tall, handsome, successful guy who dotes on her and cooks, but there’s got to be a few out there… she will find him)
In other news, as many of you know, last year when Taylor toured Japan, he met a beautiful girl named Aya. She was already planning to move to the United States to continue her education, so it was perfect. They fell in love, as young people do, spending every free moment together. Maybe they spent a few too many free moments together, because one night Taylor came to me in tears and said we needed to have a serious talk. And I knew. Aya was pregnant.
I know what many of you are thinking right now. Taylor is so young and has so much promise. This will ruin his life. But look, I am the result of an unwanted teen pregnancy. I haven’t ruined anyone’s life so far (that I know of). I fully understand why some people need to decide otherwise. For years I worked with teens in foster care, with girls who had been working as prostitutes and were now pregnant, on probation, living in a group home. I will always vote pro-choice. But in our situation, I couldn’t see a baby being anything other than a gift. An unexpected, life-changing gift, yes, but when you think about it, aren’t all our greatest gifts unexpected?
For several weeks we lived in an emotional whirlwind while Taylor and Aya decided how they would handle this. We told them we loved them and would support whatever decision they made, but if they decided to keep this baby they could live here with us. We would help them raise the baby while they stayed in school and continued pursuing their dreams. Eventually this is what they decided to do.
In November, Aya moved in, and we have all been living as one big, happy, multi-cultural family. She had her first American Thanksgiving and Christmas with us, and we are learning to speak Japanese. Some nights I cook dinner, some nights she does. She absolutely loves Evan. She spends time teaching him Japanese, plays with him, bathes him and feeds him. I can tell she is going to be a great mother.
Aya’s due date is June 17th. She wants to stay home with the baby, at least in the beginning, but in doing so she will lose her student Visa and could be sent back to Japan. She’s got to have a green card to stay here legally, so….we had three weeks to plan a wedding. If I pull this off well, I should be awarded some type of Mom Superhero name…I’ll leave it up to all of you to decide.
Taylor and Aya were engaged on Christmas Eve, and will be married next Sunday, on Valentine’s Day. They will say their vows up on the mountain behind our home. The same person who married us will be performing the ceremony. We figured that was good luck. After all, Troy and I worked out pretty well.
As John Lennon said, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. Don’t we know it! None of us were prepared for this, that’s for sure. But hello….the moment is here. So we roll our sleeves up and we say YES to it. We pull together as a family and lift up this young marriage, supporting them through the challenges that every new couple faces.
I’m not saying it will be easy, but through all these changes and upheaval, there is one thing I am absolutely certain of. This little baby will be surrounded with family and love and laughter. Those are things that have never been, and will never be, in short supply around here.
Now, cross your fingers everyone, and chant with me….NO RAIN on Valentine’s Day!!!