When Jennifer became pregnant with our child, we were no more than teenagers ourselves. We were young and reckless and stupid. Mistakes were made and we dealt with the consequences as responsibly as we knew how to. If we had it to do all over again, I’m sure we would do everything different. Thank God we don’t have that choice – if we did, we might not have Wee Bot.
We beat the odds and thirteen years later are still married and madly in love with each other. Our son is well loved and is growing into a wonderful young man. In the early years of our marriage, we planned on having more kids, but we couldn’t seem to make ends meet with the comfort that we wanted before we brought yet another life into the world. In the days of ramen noodles and mac and cheese dinners, living paycheck to paycheck, the very idea of having another child (or more children) was terrifying.
As the years wore on, we were faced with more obstacles that made it even more frightening. Knowing what I know now, I wish we had damned the consequences and had another kid or two about ten years ago. At this point, although having more children is still very possible biologically, we would essentially have two families, as the baby would still be a young child when Wee Bot reaches adulthood. I simply refuse to wish my life away. I feel very blessed to have my beautiful, loving wife and my talented, headstrong son. In the end, everything plays to God’s Will.
Although I can’t seem to find it in my archives, I swear I’ve mentioned Jennifer’s brother at one time or another. Bro has put himself through a lot of rough times. Around the beginning of the year, he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and out of a very bad lifestyle. He started coming around to chat with me and he’d ask me legal and religious questions. He said that he’d been studying his bible for once in his life and that he was looking for work.
At first, I was quite suspicious – of his motives, of his genuineness in his recent decisions, of everything. Over the months, he has proved himself. I’m quite proud of my BIL now. He met someone and they have grown close. They are now engaged to be married. She also came out of a rough lifestyle. In fact, her nine-year-old daughter was the one who finally convinced her that she needed to leave her ex and get out of town because her life was in peril. As they got closer to each other, BIL insisted that we have a get-together and meet his new fiance and her daughter.
So, we met in a city park for an Easter celebration. The weather was perfect for it. At first, it was kind of awkward. BIL’s girlfriend seemed a little intimidated and stand-offish at first. Much of her extended family was there. Jennifer’s parents showed up and they had a hard time mingling with the group of strangers. Jennifer broke the ice with GF by offering to help hide Easter Eggs.
I grabbed Jennifer’s camera and took pictures. I got some really good ones. The light that day was making the job easy, and I was using the full 18x optical zoom to get some candid shots. GF’s daughter made an excellent subject. I got some beautiful shots of her, but I had no idea that little girl would steal my heart.