Fly Away Home
A memoir about the ups and downs in life and the back and forth travels of a multicultural family.

MIxED bLESSINGS

This is a preview to the chapter MIxED bLESSINGS from the book Fly Away Home by Maggie Myklebust.
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We could hardly believe our luck. We built the house of our dreams on one of the most idyllic spots on the island. I now had my own little place in the world and over the next few years, life couldn’t have been any better. We had five wonderful children, all happy and healthy and a good marriage built on mutual love and respect.

I’m not saying we never disagreed or got on each other’s nerves from time to time, because we did. Harry was an optimist, he never worried and seldom stressed over anything. I was the complete opposite, he would say pessimist, I’d argue realist. I worried over things that were completely out of my control and stress was as spontaneous as breathing. Sometimes I envied his ability to simply shut out the bad stuff and then at other times I mistook his calmness as a lack of concern.

There were other differences as well; he liked sports and action films, while I liked silly American sitcoms and love stories. He had patience, I had none. I was loud and liked to talk, he was quiet but luckily he liked to listen. He was strong and independent and yet I could always feel him ever so gently leaning on me for support. He protected me and at the same time pushed me to be stronger person.

With three teenagers, one baby, and a six-year-old boy coming every other weekend, it could get quiet hectic. Whenever Harry and I needed a breather I’d leave the baby with Harry’s parents, Michele in charge at home and go meet Harry on a Friday night in Stavanger. We’d have dinner, see a movie and spend the night at the SAS Hotel, which had the most outstanding breakfast buffet, then drive home on Saturday morning, with our batteries fully charged. We started spending our summer vacations in America. We’d all fly over together, the children would stay with Tony, and Harry, Jan Christian, Alexander and I would stay with my parents. It was the best of both worlds, I had my home with Harry and the children in Norway and summers on the Jersey Shore with my family and friends. I could shop for all the things we couldn’t afford or find in Norway. It felt like Christmas in July.

In the summer of 1994, we found ourselves caught off guard by the realization I was expecting again. After all I’d been through to get pregnant with Alexander, I naively didn’t think, at thirty-six years old, I’d get pregnant without trying. Harry was shocked, I was surprised and Alexander was only fifteen months old. This time when we told everyone we were mostly met with questions like, “Really?” or “Again?”
By the time I had my first sonogram and found out we were having another boy, we had all warmed to the idea of a sixth child and a playmate for Alexander. With Harry by my side we welcomed Brian into the world on 9 February 1995. He weighed 3150 grams and was 49 cm long, which was exactly the same birth weight as Alexander. I took one look at my newborn son and I knew he was a blessing. We hadn’t planned on another child, but God obviously had other plans.

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"I finished this book in one day, and that night went to bed dreaming of the Norwegian countryside (a place..."

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