Day 7 - Biggest Impact

These three fellas have definitely, hands-down, had the most impact on my life.  They are my life, or at least the very heart of it.  

Me, the hubby, and our two boys.
First, there's my hubby, Ken.  We've been together for twenty-two years. We started dating when I was a sophomore in high school; he was a senior at a neighboring school district. Six years later we were married.  

There are so many ways that Ken has impacted my life.  He's one of the reasons my Mom and I have the relationship we do today - he told me to give her another chance when I felt my heart couldn't handle any more disappointment.  His love and support have enabled me to pursue my education and my dreams of becoming a writer.  Even when things get tough and I want to quit, he encourages me to keep going and never give up on the things I think are important.  

He's also a damn fine cook and a fantastic father. 

That brings me to my boys.  Talk about an impact!  I'm certain no amount of words can express the many different ways these two have changed my (our) lives.   Let's just say that I completely, 100% understand the Mama Bear and Cubs metaphor.  The desire to protect them from all harm - physical and emotional - can be all-consuming.  Letting them navigate the aches and pains of growing up, of being disappointed and hurt, is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.  And I'm not sure I do a very good job of it.  Stepping back enough to let them learn how to handle certain situations is not always easy. Watching them grow and change is a marvel. 

Of course, they impact my life in numerous other ways as well.  They leave their dirty laundry and dishes scattered throughout the house.  They bicker until I think my head will explode.  Their busy sports schedules eat away at the limited hours in our days.  On the flip side of that, though, is the realization that I love watching them do the things they love, even if that means I suddenly know more about football, baseball, and basketball than I ever would have expected.  I hang up their art projects.  I help them with their homework.  I make sure they take baths and brush their teeth.  I worry about the choices they make and the consequences of their decisions.  

Being part of this family has had a huge impact on my life.  It can be stressful and infuriating at times, but it also by far the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I've got going for me.