What is October 18, 2018? Now I know that a whole lot of you out there in the blogosphere are saying to yourself right now, “Hmmm, October 18, 2018. Day doesn’t ring of anything special.” But at least two of us see it differently. October 18 will be the 31st anniversary of our first date – my wife and me. We went on our first date together to the State Fair of Texas in October, 1987. Both of us were in the middle of divorce and each raising our kids – she had three and I had one that I was solely responsible for. We had a really great time at the state fair, although I had already given up riding the spinning rides. Roller coasters – I love them, but spinning at a fast rate simply makes me sick – no really – stomach wrenching, pull-off-to-the-side-of-the-road SICK. When I was a teenager, my friends used to challenge me to ride the spinning, the twirling, the whirling, and the rotating equipment at Six Flags Over Texas and the like.
Every year was a new challenge… with the same old results. You see, dizziness has never been my friend… and nobody was ever better for me riding those rides. In fact, let’s just say I “shared” the experience with a few around me on more than one occasion. Well, those days are gone and I’ve learned to live within reasonable limits. I have not taken that particular challenge in many years, yet the new challenges are always popping up. My lady friend and I ended the dating process, but we continued the relationship by driving down to the Justice of the Peace, getting married at lunch, and going back to work. She coached my stepson’s soccer game that night, and someone paid me to work on their car. From the very beginning – that first night of marriage – the ride has been about as rough and sometimes made us just as dizzy as the rides at the state fair, but we’ve survived it.
Why share something like this on a child mentoring blog? First, it’s my site and I guess I can write about what I want to. Second, and more to the point – we will have our 30th wedding anniversary in Mar, 2019. As you might imagine, with four small children ranging from 6 months to 5 years old, it was tough just making to the first year of marriage, much less through the first year of marriage. That speaks volumes about our dedication to each other, in spite of our circumstances. We haven’t been the perfect couple and we certainly didn’t mimic the Brady Bunch from the 80’s TV program. Raising children is a huge challenge, especially in a blended family! However, we decided that divorce wasn’t an option (every time we considered it).
We had never discussed the word “mentor”. Heck, I’m not sure I had ever used the word “mentoring” in a sentence until a few years ago. However, much of what we mentor children about stems from what we show them about dedication, responsibility, perseverance, and working through the tough things in life as a team. No matter how you feel about marriage, it has definitely given the two of us plenty of opportunities to practice, and mentor, these virtues to our now adult children and, hopefully one day, to grandchildren.