Belated Introduction

I suppose the third post would be an appropriate time to introduce the audience to the author. I believe the not-so-technical term would be “fashionably late”.

If I were to explain myself to you all, I would do so by describing myself as a “well traveled, small town girl”. And if I were to start at the beginning, I would begin by sharing with you all that I was born and raised in Paoli, IN, as the youngest of three children (one sister, one brother, respectively), brought up by a very determined, single mother. I was an extremely sick infant and, as a result of that illness, I was challenged to fight and succeed throughout the duration of my childhood. Every step was a battle for me, and I have grown ever so grateful for that preparation as I now find myself having no trouble navigating “real life”. The struggles that many others find to be devastating or insurmountable provide me with a surge of ambition and determination. I tend to welcome so called “problems” and can easily spot and rectify them prior to them causing any major damage.

My early childhood was spent in a dizzying whirlwind, which blew me in and out of hospitals, back home, and back to the hospital again. Whether in or out of the oxygen tents I most commonly found myself quarantined to, I always found ways to amuse myself, entertain the staff, and worry my mother to the brink of breakdown (enter her hero-my soon to be step father-eventual full fledged, legal parent via adoption). These antics ushered me into adolescence and a more focused sense of health and overall well being.

My high school career consisted of friends, part time jobs, and daily practices for all of the sports that the Dr.s had tried their hardest to convince me that I’d never be able to participate in. Aside from the sports, four part time jobs and more than satisfactory grade point average, I also participated heavily in my church and even taught our congregation’s Sunday School Class. Yes, I was a Sunday School Teacher, in high school, which most often leads audiences to postulate a certain idea of conservatism (which would not be argued). I had no time for boys or romance…or so I told myself… That mindset lasted until I reached 17 and met my first true love, who was to become my husband. With this love I learned, I grew, I laughed, I cried, I won and then, ultimately, I lost.

Although my marriage didn’t last, the bond with my now-best-friend did, and always will. We were not destined to be married, but we were always fated to be teammates, and with four children stemming from that 16 year relationship, we are both more than grateful for and dependent upon that bond and friendship. We remain more than best friends, more than teammates, we’re family. And in our union, so many years ago, my family grew exponentially. The relationships that I gained, and retained, are ones that I will forever hold dear to my heart. Not only was I accepted by all members of his family, but I was enjoyed, appreciated, and loved by each and still am today. And that is a gift that I do not mistake, and will never take for granted.

I’m sure some of you caught that nonchalant “four children” comment tossed in above….. Yeah, I have four children. Four children and a new love who has one of his own, whom I love just as motherly as I love my own. So, between the two of us, we have four boys (9, 9, 11, 13) and one diva princess (4). Time with my four is split perfectly in half with their dad, as we all live in that same tiny town I told you about in the beginning of my story. My boyfriend’s son, however, we don’t get to keep quite as often during the school year, as he lives with his mother in Miami. She is, though, extremely generous and supportive of their son visiting his dad and our new family. We are blessed to be able to fly down and pick him up at least two or three weekends a month, but usually every weekend and during every school break. During the Summer is our favorite time as we all love to travel. We spend as much time in the air with our butts in airplane seats as we do with our feet on foreign soil. We are determined to provide our children the opportunities and experiences that we feel will not only benefit them, but inspire them to think and explore outside of their own box and, eventually, their own comfort zone. Seeing how other children and, maybe most profoundly, adults live and commerce in other societies is opening their eyes to whole new worlds, in a multitude of facets. These children, all five of them, are our purpose, and we push ourselves each and every day to make new foot trails for them to try out. We will outline a path for them to journey on, but we’re not the type to construct and pave their road for them. A foot trail leaves room for exploration and improvement on what we imagined to start for them, but we’re under no such delusion that they aren’t much more creative and ingenious than we are. Don’t get me wrong….they can pull off some imaginatively stupid stunts, and make some of the poorest decisions I’ve ever even heard about. But from each mistake they emerge with not only a life lesson but some bright new creative idea or solution that I know I could never devise myself.

I think that pretty much brings you up to speed on the major outline of who I am, so from now on you’ll be getting the random parts of me and my crazy zoo. All the crazy details that make us who we are. As I specified in the first couple of posts, I will not censor or hold back on here so I can’t justifiably tell you not to be surprised, because I’m positive there are plenty of surprising stories just around the corner. Just hang in there, you’ll get to hear them all. But, for now, it’s after 3 am, and about the time I start to wind down each day before waking at 7 or so. Soooo……
Until next time
Laura Lee

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