We're in this together.
Hello new readers, and welcome to my first blog. I'm Alli, the co-founder, and CEO of One Fun™. At my core, I am a networker; for work and play, I desire to meet people, dive deep, and connect their six-degrees of separation. I hope to use this space to connect with you while also "therapeutically" helping myself make sense of what's happening in my life during these crazy times.
Of all the roles that I hold—businesswoman, entrepreneur, parent, wife, daughter, friend, inventor, designer, board member, correspondence secretary, and on and on, the one I consider most sacred is being a mother. For the last ten and a half years, my life has revolved around my kids. And from what I hear from my decade older sister, that doesn't end anytime soon.
The weekend before our first daughter was due to be born, I laid in bed, thinking, "This will be the last truly quiet Saturday for the rest of our lives." I reflected on my 32 years of "freedom" leading up to that moment: a relatively unrestricted life sprinkled with creative friends, exotic travel, Latin languages, a bi-coastal career in design, spontaneous adventures, even a stint at the White House. When I met my husband, we'll call him "G," he didn't embody the same socially charged needs as I. But together, we meshed. He was and still is, steady, loyal, focused, and calm. Through osmosis, we balanced each other and created a dynamic duo.
Fast forward to today. Yes, that lying-in-bed thought was mostly true: we had many kid-centric-busy weekends, disrupted nights of sleep, classic tantrums, spilt milk, bloody accidents, tears, snuggles, and snotty noses. When the kids were both under 2, I was the family's first responder-slash-martyr. Two epidural-free births, I nursed each child for seventeen months. Thinking that sleep training was cruel (it isn't!), they didn't sleep through the night until around age 5. I got up when they cried and snuggled them back to sleep, night after night. While I thought G was blissfully dreaming through all my midnight misery, I realize that his steadfast calmness and uncanny ability to step in just when I'd had enough was what made those frantic years doable, and in retrospect, actually fun.
Finally, after 10 months into a global pandemic, our family life has now settled into a semi-comfortable hum. Even though both kids are learning part time at home, playdates and parties are out of the question, G is working from my old office, and I've taken on the most significant career challenge of my life: Running the One Fun™ Company from the dining room table (at least I'm close to the coffee maker). Our ten-year-old keeps busy with her schoolwork, her slime lab in the kitchen, and our TikTok feed. Our seven-year-old, while loud as can be, finds pockets of time for LEGO, soccer, Calvin and Hobbes or Roblox with his friends. I continue to wake up in the wee hours, not to cuddle my kids, but to carve out quiet time to work and think.
At this very moment, on January 8th, 2021, I am reliving that Saturday morning from 2010 because in a few hours, a new puppy will be arriving at our door. Yep, we are getting a shelter-in-place-inspired dog named Woodstock, "Woodsy" for short. She is an eight-week-old Goldendoodle, and from a few photos, an irresistible ball of fluff.
While Santa was unable to deliver the number one thing on both kids' lists, daddy G pulled through as he so often does and planned this epic surprise. He methodically called every breeder within 250 miles and ultimately found someone who had one unclaimed puppy left in a litter. Delighted by even the prospect of a runt, we immediately said, "YES!"
Taking a step back here, and for the moral record, I had always imagined adopting a rescue mutt, a pup that needed a home more so than a designer-doodle breed that was in high demand. Unfortunately, G and our son are extremely allergic to fur creatures, and so we took precautions with a breed that is known for its hypoallergenic traits. Enter the "doodles." Apparently, there are at least 28 "poos" and "doodles" to choose from. Highlights include the Bernadoodle, Jack-a-Poo, Shnoodle, Dalmadoodle, Peekapoo, Pugapoo, Cadoodle! I could go on, but you can read for yourself here.
So why are we getting a puppy when life is rolling along so, eh, smoothly? The biggest selling point of this dog-deal is that G has vowed to be the first responder. He promises to take Woodstock out at night, train her, teach her tricks and manners, create feeding schedules, teach the kids to take care of her, and mandate the rules. Is he being pragmatic? Probably no more than I thought that I could handle two babies all by myself. But we're a good team. We'll figure it out. It'll be fun to do it as a family.
So, after much reflection, here's the real reason: I love being a mother.
Alli Q. DiVincenzo
One Fun™ CEO