The class of 2020 is about to graduate. The class of 2041 is just being born.
Blake Molinari, born just five months ago, is the newest member of the Molinari family.
Castleton University Director of Public Safety Keith Molinari was 18 years old when he had his first child. Now, in his 50s, he just had baby Blake and he said the challenges of raising a child, even 30 years apart, don’t really change.
“I have more time and I have more patience, but my body doesn’t hold up as well,” he said with a laugh.
This being Molinari’s fifth child, he said there are differences between raising Blake and raising his other children.
“I was in law enforcement with Sam, Chase and Heather. And being in law enforcement, it just absorbed a whole lot of my time. Being here at Public Safety, of course I have an amount to do, but the workload’s a little different.”
But he admits raising children who are almost 30 years apart can be different in a lot of ways, especially with technology and gadgets, he said. Blake is growing up with a lot more than what his others kids had.
“I look at Blake looking at a cellphone like it’s magical. Where is technology going to be when he’s full grown and in college?” he said with a laugh.
But baby Blake is special for another reason. Molinari said he and his wife, Michelle, have been trying to have a baby for five years now.
“We just always knew we wanted to add to the family,” Michelle said. “It was a really long road to get to Blake and it certainly makes you appreciate a lot more.”
The fight to have a baby when facing fertility issues is no easy task and it took a toll on their mental and emotional state.
“We did a lot of foster care. And we thought many times that we were going to adopt, and it never really went in that direction … so there was a lot of heartbreak in that sense,” Michelle said.
Having Blake as a new member of the family is very exciting for them, but they don’t like to hide how hard it was for them to get pregnant.
“Once a baby is there, they don’t talk about the journey anymore. I think that there is so much that people don’t understand about what that’s like to go through and I wish there was more support out there for people,” Michelle said.
When they were finally blessed with Blake, Michelle and Keith knew it would be something their family would have to adjust to. Luckily, they found a system that works for them.
“When I’m at work, Michelle is doing her thing, but when I come home it’s Daddy time,” Molinari said with a huge grin.
Julie Leppo, a first-year Campus Activities Board member, saw Blake for the first time during a CAB meeting.
“Once Keith brought Blake in, we all just stopped because there was a baby! The meeting stopped until Keith and Blake left because everybody was distracted” she said with a laugh.
When asked what she was most excited for while raising Blake, Michelle said, “I think that one of the most exciting things about having a baby is sort of dreaming about what their future holds for them and just watching every step of the way … Just imagining and hoping and dreaming for them.”
Keith is trying not to think too far into the future, though, and savoring these days.
“It’s a double-edged sword because you want them to stay babies forever, but you’re also looking forward to rounding them into good people,” he said.