Friday, July 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

There’s privilege in the package

By
From page A2 | September 25, 2012 |

“But there’s privilege in the package,” said my fiance, Tom. He’s known more for being a scientist than a poet, but that phrase was music to my ears.

With just a few weeks to go until our wedding, I was asking him if he was sure he wanted this “package,” meaning my complicated life featuring four children and all the wonderful and difficult things they bring to the table.

Yes, I was joking. Tom is all in, and I haven’t doubted it. But we were dealing with a week that had been more on the difficult side of the “kid ledger” than the wonderful, and I needed some reassurance.

Yes, Tom is a dad of four wonderful kids himself, his youngest the age of my oldest. That helps when it comes to understanding children. (Most of the men I’d previously dated were not fathers, and I think now it’s wiser for single moms to date dads.) But, most important, his thinking is not so much that this is going to be easy, but that there is going to be opportunity and wonder in the challenge of it all.

As he reassured me, again — we were sitting in my kitchen mulling over some recent events — that he believes he has an opportunity to impact my children and our family, to really help shape and encourage this little band. My children adore Tom. But I’m pretty sure they adore me, too, and that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.

The point is that rather than seeing my children as something to be put up with in order for him to have a relationship with me, he sees the whole package as something to happily embrace. Even in all its manifold imperfections. And, wow, are they sometimes manifold. I think that also means he has a better chance of enjoying the package after all.

It’s hard for a woman to date if she has kids. All the more so when your kids live with you 24/7. But I think in seeking a new husband we single moms just can’t give our children anything less than someone who will eagerly take on our children, too. I don’t mean because the fellow thinks, “Hey, this will be fun!” — although it ought to be, at least at times. I mean a fellow who will see his calling as engaging fully with his new kids even when it’s not fun.

I watch Tom interacting with my children, in things like spending hours getting my high-school daughter ready for a chemistry exam. Or listening — really listening — to another about her angst one minute and happiness the next when it comes to changing schools next year. And I think: “Really, God? Really?” Just as important, I don’t have to be defensive when they misbehave, or when he and I talk about a problem attitude we see here or there. He doesn’t judge me; he walks with me as we think things through.

But, of course, that’s what a dad should do, and that’s the point.

It occurred to me when Tom said “there’s privilege in the package” that I was hearing the words for the first time, but it was an understanding I knew him to have, and from the beginning.

(Yes, the flip side is all there, too. As in, a new wife needs to be eager to be part of his kids’ lives, however complicated that is. But one spouse at a time!)

Yes, my time as a single mom is coming to a close, and I’m grateful it is. But I was there for eight years, and at times I thought I would always be alone. From someone who knows that it’s hard, I just want to encourage all the single moms out there to hold out for a guy who considers your complicated package a privilege. You will be so glad you did. That’s a good man. Your children, and you, deserve nothing less.

Betsy Hart’s latest book is “From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports).” Reach her through hartmailbox-mycolumn@yahoo.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
CSP Solano inmates make music for rehabilitation

By Krissi Khokhobashvili | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Big Chuckllz, fellow comics want to keep Fairfield laughing

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Holly Stell ready for new adventure, plans Sunday concert

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Solano actors join forces for new single, ‘Groove Me’

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Organizers seek riders, volunteers for Ride to Defeat Diabetes

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Friday concerts begin Aug. 1 at Solano Town Center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B3

 
Bay Stage filled with entertainment at Solano County Fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B3

 
 
Bay Area’s air district issues Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Assembly candidate Henthorn to appear at GOP dinner

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: July 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Daily Republic seeks good news for column

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A12, 22 Comments

 
.

US / World

Judge argues for return of firing squad executions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
California removes lane splitting guidelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

Execution offers evidence against lethal injection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Outcry saves rare redwood from being chopped down

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

California man gets 4 years in counterfeit case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
SF professor charged with taping students in bathroom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Toxic algae closes Oakland’s Lake Temescal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
House panel clears way for vote on Obama lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Feds cap fines for not buying health insurance

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
House, Senate chairs offer competing bills on VA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Social Security’s $300M IT project doesn’t work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

More US girls now getting cervical cancer vaccine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Storm slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ukrainian prime minister announces resignation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Islamic militants seize part of Syrian army base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

Call for tech diversity misplaced

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Is parenting being criminalized in America?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Coyote epidemic in Fairfield

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

Editorial Cartoons for July 25, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My siblings want friends to handle sale of our father’s house

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview July 25-31, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: Allen casts a limp spell in ‘Magic’

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Lucy’ won’t stretch your brain capacity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Robert Downey Jr. open to returning for ‘Iron Man 4’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay to go wild with ‘Manimal’ movie

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Kiss, Usher, J.Lo to perform at Fashion Rocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Pop star Azalea talking fashion on MTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jon Bon Jovi to be honored for humanitarian work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Malkovich, Cumberbatch make Comic-Con premieres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Stonestreet: Acceptance will grow for gay athletes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Moss powers A’s past Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Eagles soar past Expos in Area 1 tourney

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

Hudson solid, Hammels better in Giants’ loss to Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Indians win 14-8 over Mudcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7

49ers’ Smith plans to meet soon with Commissioner Goodell

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Pucker up! NASCAR returns to Brickyard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Manning getting used to new faces on Broncos

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders CB Hayden to start camp on PUP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Nibali wins Stage 18, closes in on Tour victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Suspended WR Blackmon arrested on drug complaint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, July 25, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Ravens RB Rice receives 2-game suspension from NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Lynch expected to hold out from Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Putnam, Petrovic share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Langer leads British Senior by 2 after 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Taiwan sweeps US in 1st day of International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
A’s Johnson designated for assignment

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AP Source: NFL stadium sites explored in Toronto

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
2 Texas football players charged with sexual assault

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Cavs sign Wiggins, who can’t be traded for 30 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, July 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, July 25, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
Weather for July 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

.

Business

LR4 is updated for fuel efficiency

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Ford’s green push

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C2

Varying health premium subsidies worry consumers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Court throws out Chiquita terror payment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Bombardier restructuring cuts 1,800 jobs globally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US new-home sales plummet in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Across US job market, layoffs are becoming rare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Dunkin’ pushing cashiers to ‘upsell’ in afternoons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

 
Nelson Max Allen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
.

Solano County Fair 2014

Cultural exhibits, entertainment are fair highlights

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF2 | Gallery

Bay Stage talent competitions, nightly karaoke party

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF3

Jack & Bernice Newell Junior Livestock Auction returns to fair

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF4 | Gallery

Big names, big sounds grace fair stage

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF4 | Gallery

Bay Stage welcomes wide array of entertainers

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF15 | Gallery

Solano shines at fair’s County and Cities Expo

By Solano County Fair | From Page: SCF16