My baby boy, son #3, the youngest, has gotten engaged. I am thrilled that he is marrying his perfect match and also a bit nostalgic. The event made me think back through the years, and I came to realize that having a family is like running a small country. If not an entire country, then at least a small province inside one. If you think about it, all the required elements are in place.
Pease negotiations? Weekly back in the day. Someone made off with the new video game; someone can't sit on the recliner because someone else already called dibs, and maybe the most important issue - spy vs. spy "He's looking at me again." Peace didn't always come easy, but somehow, as President, I managed to achieve intervals of calm through tense dialogue and debate with all affected parties which resulted in a cease fire.
I became a master at negotiating with terrorists (I had three of them) who routinely destroyed possessions in the neighboring provinces (bedrooms). With that, I also had to become a whiz at border disputes (also the bedrooms). I remember being in strategic talks almost weekly concerning and who was allowed inside each bedroom on any given day. I was pretty good at handling that because, coming from smaller and more economically depended states, the envoys from these three sub-provinces brought less to the bargaining table than I did.
Regular press conferences were held to keep the citizens of the sub-provinces informed on what was expected of them. Questions to which I had no answers were either referred to the Vice President (their father), or received a "no comment" until new data was compiled.
The Red phone, it was actually white back then, was connected to an intricate staff, most of whom has extensive experience in the area of either economy or defense. For example, the National Guard (mom-mom and pop-pop) were on permanent stand-by status, and were used in cases of extreme emergency. They also turned out to be the sub-provinces' primary lenders, and seemed to be heavily involved in foreign aid when I cut off all sources of homeland funding.
Other staff members were the Secretary of the Interior - the sales staff at Macy's, Secretary of Agriculture - the cashier at Wegmans, Secretary of Health - family doctor, Secretary of Education - the school principal and Commerce Secretary - me (I shop a lot).
I also had one of those "Buttons" the are rumored to be in the White House. It was connected to a black box and covered with a sign that said "Do Not Push Unless All Forms of Peaceful Negotiations Have Failed." There wasn't anything in it, of course, but I told the Vice President that inside was a one-way ticket to Hawaii and $100,000 in unmarked, non-consecutive bills. I swear there were days when I saw his forefinger hover over that button!!
Somehow we got through all the cold wars, the recessions, the breaks in treaties, periods of tense negotiations on matters of state, and everything else that affects world peace at a scaled down family level, and made it to where we are today. Happy, healthy, and grateful for each other.
So now my last "province" has ceded from the Union and is about to colonize a country of his own. All I can say is Good Luck and God Bless. And oh, don't forget, the Motherland would certainly like to see a few new little citizens when the time is right!!!
That's Jarrett and his Bride to Be, Tara, Not a bad looking couple of Ambassadors from the about to be new Nation of Happily Ever After!!
Kathye Quick, who is preparing to be a MIL for the third time, is in the middle of her nineteenth book. She writes contemporary romance, historical romance and urban fantasy, and has been known to dabble in humor and non-fiction.