2013 was a “Learning Year”, a “Growing Year”, and a year of bearing witness to great milestones in history moving forward. We watched and we were a part of the first generation of LGBT couples who witnessed the dismantling of DADT in 2011, (where we had to hide our relationship up until then) and in 2013, the fall of Prop 8 in California and DOMA nationally! While we are still mindful of the 34 states that DON’T have marriage equality yet, we celebrate the states that crossed over into recognition this year.
Being a military family also meant we celebrated for the first time, being recognized as a “legitimate family” with all the benefits, support systems, and healthcare afforded to all other families. I have to thank my family at AMPA (American Military Partner Association) for being the catalyst to much of this change. They were my support system when we were all in hiding, before I knew any other military spouses, getting “radio silence” from Military Wives support groups I joined for the first two years, desperately needing help. If you are curious about their work, I highly recommend checking them out at http://www.militarypartners.org .
2013 my wife and I celebrated the milestone on February 16th of Domestic Partnership, and celebrated again the milestone of legal marriage on July 20th. The friends, family, and community that surrounded us and supports us continually is the gift I never thought I would have seen in my lifetime.
We have grown together. This has been the first year where my wife and I lived in the same time zone and the same state in the 4 + years we have been together. My Dad loves the quote “There are good days, and there are learning days”. I believe a lot of this year was about us learning about ourselves and how we are as a family with each other. I learned how important sports is to my wife. Not just playing (which I fully support), but watching entire seasons of, and listening to on the radio! This tips over into my NPR listening time AND my singing with my favorite songs on the radio to my passengers that are strapped in with no place to hide.
To her amazement and mine, I learned to like baseball this year. It sure helped that my 2nd baseball event was at Fenway Park during our Honeymoon in Boston this past September. Not having much of any idea where the Red Sox were on their road to victory, I was just happy we were able to cheer and sing “Sweet Caroline” with all the other proud Bostonians!
Watching our kids grow and become more of who they are meant to be is truly a witness of wonderment! Our 21 year old son finding his way in the world, working hard, but realizing how little that paycheck stretches. It is precisely these growing pains that are the most painful, and the catalyst to the most exhilarating epiphany, when one realizes that they hold the shaping tool to their own destiny! Our daughter continues to inspire and amaze us with her love, joy, creativity, and newly blossoming writing style! Oh, we still dodge, weave, and parry all our ADD struggles, but we Win more days than we lose.