Raising a Family
Starting a family was very interesting because we were married for seven years before we had any children. For awhile we thought we weren’t going to have kids, but then we did. Within three years we went from having zero kids to three, this was from 1979 to 1981. Betty and I were used to it just being the two of us and doing things and going everywhere together, our lives changed completely in those years. At the time Betty was working as a teacher so she had to stop working to take care of the kids. We were lucky that she was able to stay home and take care of them.
In those first few years, our parents started traveling to the US. Our families came pretty frequently so they could see our children, speak our language with them and get to know them. We used to go to Mendoza a lot when our kids were younger. Once they got into high school it was kind of hard to take them away from school. But Betty and I continued to go to Argentina to see our parents.
Our kids were pretty good growing up, even though teenage years are notorious for being stressful. We never had any major issues with them. Then they went to college like 1,2,3. In a period of three years they were gone, so our lives change, it became a bit more relaxed. Our kids went across the country, one went to Chicago, another went to North Carolina, and our daughter was in Iowa City. It’s funny, they went to college and they came back with different personalities. Everyone grew up and changed.
My kids are adults now so they have their own lives so we try to keep in touch. My oldest child, Nicholas, is an attorney here in Des Moines, he works for the state. My daughter, Emily, graduated from the University of Iowa. She now works for an insurance company. My youngest son, Eric, graduated from Northwestern with a degree in theater/television/radio. Now he’s in L.A working for Disney Studios.
We have a routine where we have lunch every Sunday together, we go to different places and its a chance for us to see our granddaughter. During the week we also talk on the phone, email, and they occasionally come to our house. Our oldest son’s daughter comes to our house after school, so our son and his wife come over to pick her up. So we see them quite a bit. My daughter is single and very independent, but she comes over most weekends. My son Eric, is married and they have a four month old child. The plan is to spend the New Years with them and see her baptism.
Being a grandparent changes your life. Everything we did with our kids we do with our five-year-old granddaughter that’s here in Des Moines. We read to her, play games, I fix everything that she’s breaks, change the batteries for all of the toys that are battery operated. We are very lucky to be involved in her life. We go to her actives such as gymnastics, soccer, and school functions. We have only seen our younger granddaughter a couple of times, since she is so young and far away. Hopefully Betty and I will be able to see her more than two or three times a year. I don’t think our youngest son and his wife will be able to travel with her just yet, so mostly it will be Betty and I going to California to see them.