Gordon House's happily ever after
Twenty years ago, people on campus may have seen the huge “Teresa, will you marry me?” banner stretched across the front of Gordon House. Some alumni may have even witnessed 19-year-old Neil Maskery, Sc’96, on two knees in the middle of Leonard Field, proposing to the love of his life. But what happened next? Can we assume that with such a lavish display St. Lawrence College student Teresa said “yes” and they lived happily ever after?
Well, I am here to tell you that I did say “Yes!” Neil and I were married only seven months later (July 3, 1993) and lived in Kingston for the next four years while we finished our studies. Upon graduating, we decided to backpack around Europe for three months before settling down into the real world. We moved to Toronto where we started working in our respective fields and mapping out our “happily ever after.”
It was a few days after our fifth anniversary that we welcomed our first child, Moreen, into the world. Twenty months later, Neil became an honorary midwife by delivering our second child, Mackenzie, on the kitchen floor with the help of 911. (That’s a whole other story!) Three more years, and Malcolm was born, followed 18 months later by Marshall. Six months after that, we completed our chaotic family unit by throwing our dog, Misty, into the mix.
Naming all our kids (and subsequently our dog) with names that start with the letter ‘M’ was my idea. It is a Newfie tradition that all your children’s names start with the same letter, so all our children have the initials M.M., which has given rise to their collective nickname, “the M&M kids.” This is funny when you find out that Neil now works for Mars Canada, and Mars makes M&Ms!
We now live in Stouffville, ON, and our household is a fun, loud, and lively one. We make spending time with our children a high priority and house-cleaning a low one. Many people thought we were crazy getting married at 19; others thought we were crazy for having four kids. All I can say is that we made the right choices for us and I am so glad that we did. We have supported each other through job changes, shift work, travel, moving, illness, births, deaths, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it. I can honestly say that I love my husband and children with all my heart… and maybe that is the best “happily ever after” of all.