In a way, ours is like any other marriage, a union of souls, raising children, paying the bills. In a way, too, it is like any other second marriage embarked on by two people in their early middle age. Both accustomed to being in charge, running our own and the lives of those in our care, unaccustomed, at first, to making joint decisions, to even asking the other what he or she thinks about it.
As is the case with any second marriage, both with histories we bring, histories living and dead, histories brought out and laid on the table and worked over and through, histories left alone because they are too painful or because there really is no point.
My history runs around the house or calls on the phone-three children ages twenty to eleven, plus an ex-husband. That marriage has been over and annulled for ten years, but the evidence still sits at the dinner table and checks come twice a month.
So yes, it’s like any other marriage, any other second marriage, any other marriage between two forty-somethings who find themselves in the ridiculous position of chasing after a nineteen-month-old, who is our own history in the making.
But there’s something different, too. I told you about my history. Then there’s his. He’s a Catholic priest. Yes, out for several years, formally laicized-"reduced"-as official church lingo puts it-to the "lay state."