When I was younger, I used to occasionally go visit my big sister at college. I loved these trips as I’ve always relished hanging out with the big kids. On one visit I was just messing around, I made the mistake of playfully calling my older sister, “wifey”. This made her furious and she flung her keys at my head. And my sister isn’t the type. She would never lay a finger on me. Something about the idea of being cast in this passive role of the “wife” infuriated her though. The family learned to tip-toe around this issue, and the word “marriage” was an obscenity – referred to as “the M-word”.

Things have changed. Nicole is now married and the mother of two. She even changed her last name from Lafleur-Vetter to Karr. She delights in her children and approaches motherhood with such flair. She lives in a 19th-century church with huge stained glass windows that her husband, Adam, converted into a home. Meals are prepared from fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden. Diapers are made by hand from old clothes. Adam built a sauna next to their bedroom. He converted the one-room school house nextdoor into his woodshop where he makes luxury furniture for rich people in Manhattan and all over the Tri-State area.

I stayed at the “Nicole spa” for a week or so in July spending time with the growing family and trying to get my health back up to par. I came in a zombie and left a much more relaxed and healthy human being. Nicole is a crazy good mama. The task of motherhood seems very daunting to me, and the prospect of “wifehood” still as alien as organized religion, but I anticipate that this will be my world some day. They really have everything they need out there. Between the garden and the chickens and home-made beer, if there were ever an apocalypse, my sister’s family would be just fine.

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