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Where there's a will, there's a way.

2009-07-10 - 12:23 p.m.

I was just over at Rob Rummel-Hudson’s blog and left a comment on an entry in which he was pondering who to name as guardian, should anything happen to both him and his wife.

My comment centered around the fact that there are two couples we know who are in the lead for this particular honour/responsibility for our kids, and it got me pondering this issue further.

They both love our kids, and our kids love them, already. Besides that though, in many ways they are very different: one couple are already parents extraordinaire to three little girls. They have a big house on the very outskirts of town, a large yard with a play set, and multiple enriching activities scheduled for the kids, to complement the care they receive from the wife who does not work outside the house these days, though plans to return to her PhD studies once the kids are a bit older. The other couple includes my oldest friend, who’s an artist, very funky, and incidentally, a lesbian. She and her partner are currently trying for a child. They live in an urban neighbourhood and take the bus or bikes pretty much everywhere.

And yet, in ways that are of primary importance to us, they are very similar. Both couples have very solid ties to their communities, a strong social conscience, an extended network of friends, a healthy awareness of how important a good diet is, particularly for children, and a firm but gentle disinclination to spoil kids. Education is valued but not shoved down anyone’s throats as the be-all, end-all pursuit. While the country couple hosts a multitude of friends for activities like volleyball, the urban folks attend all kinds of interesting events like art shows and mass dog-walks. They all lead lives that model great behaviour for a happy, healthy existence. Just as importantly, I believe both would make the effort to keep our kids’ blood relations (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) involved in their lives.

It’s a big thing to ask someone, I know. It’s not just bringing our kids into their lives on a daily basis, it’s also asking them to extend themselves out beyond their boundaries and becoming, really, a part of a new extended family themselves. And it is this thought that has me leaning, at least for now, towards our friends that are downtown. Because the other set tends to travel to their relatives out of town for the big holidays, whereas the downtown folks are a bit more autonomous, plus most of their relatives are already nearby, so fitting in a visit with my parents on Christmas Day would be an option and there wouldn’t have to be any choice made between my kids going out of town with them or staying here and spending Christmas with Nana, emphasizing the fact that they are part of the family, but yet not quite part of the family. Y’know?

I need to figure this out, and soon, because I know that J and I really do need to draw up wills. It wouldn’t be responsible to leave these kinds of decisions up to our families or some sort of government-mandated default.

What about you? Do YOU have a will made already? What did you do about this thorny issue?

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