By Mark Prentice
I spent the majority of my adult life not only uncertain about marriage and children, but absolutely sure that I wanted no part of either. I came of age in the summer of 1969 when none of us wanted to be like our parents. We thought we were being very individual and bold in rejecting normal middle class nuclear family values and believed we could and should “ Love the One You're With " with no emotional connection, damage or consequence. I was a 15 year old rock musician playing with guys several years older than me, playing college campuses etc. and it just never occurred to me that I would live anything other than the Rockstar life.
I should note that I was very fortunate to be raised by amazing loving parents who provided a very sane stable life for me. So I was just rebelling to rebel. I didn't really have any issues with my folks or the situation they provided. But I did want to be one of the cool kids and that's what it took so I convinced myself that I was some kind of unique avant-garde radical. Of course we had all convinced ourselves of that so we were just simply a different tribe all emulating each other, not individual or unique at all… but try explaining that to a self-righteous 15 year old.
Along the way all of these older guys that I played with managed to impregnate someone and I saw how life-changing that was. Without exception, they were either what we would now call a deadbeat dad, pretty much running from the situation and not providing any support. And I didn’t think that was cool. Or alternately, they ended up working two grocery store or gas station jobs to support their new family and were no longer musicians.
Neither of those seem to fit my Rock God aspirations so I think I just decided that marriage and fatherhood were deterrents to be avoided at all costs and that became my paradigm and took me through multiple relationships for the next couple of decades.
Seemed like it was working for me. I remember turning forty and thinking, “I made it through… Safe!!”
As the old saying goes, we make plans and God laughs. In 1992 I went to audition a female singer for a show I was producing and was immediately smitten in every possible way with this girl singer who is now my wife Michelle, the one great love of my life. At the time we met she was a single mom with two small children and so it took a good bit of consideration on my part to decide to completely flip my paradigm and shift my life 180° but after a lot of soul searching and back and forth I understood that I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with these people. We married in 1996 and in the first year of our marriage we had a child of our own. So I suddenly went from being a 42-year-old guy who had never been married or had any children to being a married guy with three kids. Surprisingly, I guess it was a season of my life where I was totally ready for it. It is unquestionably the very best single thing that I have ever done and all of the abundant goodness that I have in my life really flowed from that one single act... marrying Michelle, whom I often introduce as my “first wife”.
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