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“I, Elizabeth, take you, Angela, to be my wife, my partner, my person, and my life.  I promise to be faithful, loving, loyal, and kind.  I vow to you and to our children to work together towards a life full of happiness, health, laughter, balance and color.  I promise to walk with you, hand in hand, down the aisle of compromise, to find joy in the simple things, to sing & dance with you, to comfort you with my embrace, and to always find the sun with you, in the journey of this life and beyond.”

These are the words that I spoke exactly two years ago today, as I Angela (AKA Gigi) and I were wed in a small ceremony with close family and friends as witnesses. Despite the rainy morning, I had faith that the sun would come out in time for our vows, and, just as I predicted, the perfect fall weather–70 and sunny–was the backdrop for our nuptials.  We were joined in union by the father of a sweet baby whose birth we had attended as doulas, incidentally on the day my divorce from my first marriage was complete, an inspiration that life does go on, and that it is true the when one door closes, another opens, in all sorts of ways.

A close family friend read E.E. Cummings, “I Carry Your Heart With Me,” and my sister read a passage from “The Wizard of Oz,” the one where Dorothy enters Oz for the first time and the world is completely different than the world she has come from. (Stay tuned for a whole book about this someday.) We played Lewis Watson’s, “Into the Wild,” with nearly every lyric ringing true for us, as one by one, each of the six of us placed our handprints on a canvas, intertwining us all, as the roots of the trees.

That’s right. There were six of us that were joined in marriage that day in September, not just two of us.  My four children were our only attendants, paving the way for Gigi and I to walk down the aisle together, hand in hand.  We made certain that they felt and knew that the ceremony was ALL of ours, as it was a really huge deal for them to take her on as their other mom.  And yes, their other mom, not their stepmom. Never once has any of them–Giacomo, Gianna, Luck, Isadora, or Gigi–treated their relationship as that of a “step” anything.  They are bonded and care for one another in a way that you would never know that they haven’t always been together.  Sure, there are moments where I can understand the kids a little bit more, using my “mama mind-reading” skills, or have a little more patience with their whims and desires, but that comes from the fact that we are two different parents, and I have actually had a lot more time to get used to them.

So, given this closeness, it wasn’t a huge stretch that, when we were writing our vows, the kids decided that they needed to write some vows of their own, which they read, as we placed a flower of life pendant around their necks, thus uniting us all together in marriage. 

“I, Luck, take you and Gigi, to be my moms.  I promise to hug you whenever I want to or whenever you need me to. I vow to you and to our family to work together towards a life full of happiness, health, laughter, balance and color.

 

I, Gianna, take you and Gigi, to be my moms. I promise to give you a kiss every single morning and to clean up after myself.  I vow to you and to our family to work together towards a life full of happiness, health, laughter, balance and color.

 

I, Isadora, take you and Gigi, to be my moms.  I promise to be good to you and to our family and to give you hugs every single day. I vow to you and to our family to work together towards a life full of happiness, health, laughter, balance and color.

I, Giacomo, take you and Gigi, to be my moms. I promise to always try my best and never give up.  I vow to you and to our family to work together towards a life full of happiness, health, laughter, balance and color.”

 

And with that, we became a family.