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I will be celebrating my 50th birthday this year and I just started my college education after a 24 year gap.  

I studied Interior Design back from 77 to 85 just on a part time basis with time off to bear two children.  Little did I know I would have three more in my thirties and eleven more (yep, it’s true) in my forties.

On June 19, 2005, I woke up a mother of five and went to bed that night mother of sixteen.  So much for finishing college in my forties!  I had even made sure to get alimony after my divorce and the judge granted it so I could go back to school.

But one look at baby Andrew, and I gave in to my heart; I was turned permanently to kids.  He lay there in the incubator, just over 7 lbs at 3 months of age.  It melted my heart to see his dad, Ed, stroke his head and feed him late into the night at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

His wife, Gale, had died in May of cancer after giving birth in April to Andrew at only 28 weeks gestation.  But he made it.  I held him and my heart was his.  

At Ed’s house, the other ten children were very friendly in spite of their deep grief.  The younger ones clung to me, any port in a storm would do.

I changed my mind in one phone call when Ed called me in KY from PA (we had met online) to ask me to come to PA to work for him.

Me, a nanny?  I had nannies work for me while living in luxury homes overseas in my previous marriage.  I had dined with heads of state.  Was I going to really do this?

My only hesitation was to wonder if we would continue on for some time or would I have to move again after just weeks or months.  When he reassured me he wanted this arrangement to be permanent, I agreed.

I have to confess that when he introduced me to people (who knew nothing about me) as his “friend” who was helping with the kids, I cringed when they called me a nanny.  But I didn’t say a word.  It was my choice and I didn’t regret it!

It was only a year later we tied the knot.

Now, almost four years later, I will be sending the youngest, little Andrew Douglas, off to kindergarten, so Ed agreed now is the time to take the plunge into furthering and completing my education.

I’m not doing so bad either!  After two weeks, I’m averaging in the mid 90’s to 100% on all my assignments.  I hope my six teens will follow suit!

Not bad for a momofsixteen and grammytothree(so far)!


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