by Christina Fain
In 2011 my family entered a phase of what I call “Family 2.0.” About a week before my son took his driver’s test, two pink lines showed up on the stick. My children would be 16 years apart. After the shock, terror, and disbelief wore off, I simply looked at my son, saw the fine young man he was becoming and said to my husband, “It’s OK. Let’s do this again!” I would be two months shy of 40 when my second bundle of joy arrived. Thus started our venture into Family 2.0.
I coined this term to identify other families like ours: families with noticeable age differences in their children. I wondered if these families found the parenting-again experience as bizarre as I did. There wasn’t a single book on it. No “What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting to Parent Again.” I knew a lot had changed, but I was determined to handle it with grace and humor. So here are some things I learned as I started my Family 2.0 venture.
As a Family 2.0 matriarch, the most important thing I want to share is this: Do not for one minute think that you are saying goodbye to Family 1.0. Family 2.0 does not relieve you of Family 1.0 duties. You may find yourself consolidating student-loan debt at the same time you are completing emergency medical forms for a field trip. Learn to laugh at the Family 2.0 moments. Consider yourself fortunate that you have the opportunity to do it all again. It doesn’t matter if you’re 40, 50 or rounding 60, the world can never be too full of willing people to nurture the children of our village. Change things up, accept the new gadgets, and listen to the new ideas. Sit back and let the kids Snap Chat your face with bunny ears. It will keep you young, and someday you will look back and say, “Hey look, we did that again!”
Tina began creative writing at a young age. Professionally, she has written for legal professionals spanning more than 20 years. As an over-thinker, mother of two, she draws her inspiration from her adult son and much younger daughter, as well as her personal experiences trying to navigate life’s beautiful complications. When not writing, she spends her time reading, hiking with her family and planning her next travel adventure.