Even without Mark, my late husband and the father of our oh… so… charming… teenage daughters, we are still the Fahrenthold-Pittmans and we are still a family. Nell will still tap her fingers to annoy Susannah, who will still yell, “Momma,” in a fake Southern accent to mock her frustration even though Susannah has done this to her for years for the sole purpose of making her cry. Susannah will still shriek like a pterodactyl instead of speak like a human and I will still turn my head around as fast as you can say, “Green pea soup” to scream at my kids, “If you don’t stop fighting right this instant, I am going to brain you!” This will still prompt them to ask, “What exactly will happen to us when you brain us?” And my answer is still the same: they never want to find out.
As I straddle the role of being both mother and father, disciplinarian and softie, I learn that we are still a family despite ourselves. My friends call me Mr. Laura now that I can take a joke.