“Before I met Donnie, it was really difficult … Being a single mom is so difficult and then a single mom with [a kid] with special needs adds another whole difficulty to the basket,” McCarthy told Page Six while discussing their partnership with French’s last week. “One Christmas, early on, Donnie handed me one of the greatest gifts ever, which was, I don’t even know how to explain it, but basically that he was taking care of Evan’s college tuition.”
McCarthy, 47, said that she broke down when Wahlberg gave her that gift.
“I lost it because, you know, I was so worried if I would have enough money by the time he’d be able to go [to college] and you know, [Wahlberg] kind of covered the bills and therapy and we only had just met,” she said. “It wasn’t even something like, ‘oh it’s 5 years, here’s something,’ it’s like, ‘I see that you’re hurting in this area of your life. I love Evan, and I want to do this for you both.’”
McCarthy was having trouble holding it together as she recalled the kind gesture.
“I’m just still so grateful. It’s so wonderful. It shows you what kind of human being he is too to just recognize something like that in a single mom and her son,” she said. “Thank you Donnie. it was really sweet.”
Wahlberg, 50, agreed that his favorite present isn’t something that can be wrapped up in a bow.
“Probably the best gift I think we can think of, and this might sound sappy, is that we each have given an additional parent to our kids,” Walberg told us. “You know, our sons have grown up together in our homes with us and Jenny’s really a wonderful stepmom to my son and I’m stepdad to her son, and giving them a unified family Christmas after years of being single parents, I think that’s really the best gift we can give each other.”
The couple also shared they would be sticking to a shared family tradition: making a French’s green bean casserole.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Donnie and I grew up with it, loved it, because we both grew up on a budget,” she said. “It was just something our families both had to have at our dinner table. So we continued the tradition with our combined families.”
And while McCarthy takes care of the kitchen, Wahlberg is in charge of the “stealing of the crispy fried onions.”
“I’m not really allowed in the kitchen during Thanksgiving. I just go in and pick at everything and that’s kind of what I did my whole life so it really works perfectly,” he said. “So we have to buy extra crispy fried onions because I pretty much eat them like potato chips while she’s making the casserole.”
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