I remember the first time that Valerie and Carole met; Val was 7 and she had come to North Carolina for a Christmas visit, her first. She got off the plane wearing an wonderfully colorful outfit and when she entered the old, and small, Raleigh-Durham airport in 1972, I could see her cut her eyes over to the woman standing next to me. She was darling (and I made a joke about her outfit befitting the Italian Water Polo team, which really went over big.) Over the years Val has shared our life in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., New York, and Arizona.
Being a Mom isn't easy, and that's true for step-Moms too. But Carole and Val have made it work beautifully. In the early years we became accustomed to Val suddenly wanting to go home, a week or so early, during her summer visit, and one year she enrolled in a Friends School in Durham only to cut that short half-way through. But we learned to roll with the punches and over time, I think Carole's kindness and her thoughtfulness has changed both of their lives.