As my 16th wedding anniversary approaches, I am reflecting on where I’ve been in my relationship with my husband and where I hope our marriage takes us from here.
So much has changed from those first few, dare I say-blissful?, years together. I was just telling him yesterday how much I adored him and thought he could do no wrong back then. Oh, man, do I know better now! He chuckles at me as I explain that as a young married woman I accepted everything we did together and thought that things were good, no matter how much either one of us pushed our wants and needs aside for the other.
As our children were born, we became “Momma” and “Daddy” and took on our new roles as parents so completely. As devoted as we were to one another, our devotion immediately transferred to our babies. They became the reason we did anything. Somewhere along the way, their needs and wants became the only thing we cared about. Isn’t that the way it should be? Don’t we have children to do the best possible by them and make their world the most fantastic place ever? I mean (and I actually do say this), they didn’t ask to be born? Why should they pay the price when we want to revert back to our childless days and do something fun for ourselves? We’re parents now, dammit. We should act like it. I’ll tell you why.
We are still the people we were when we were childless.
We are still the couple with whom others looked at and thought to themselves ‘boy are they in love…how sweet.‘ It’s OK to be those people! It’s more than ok to still be in love. Having children changes things for sure. I think most of us would agree that it’s one of the best experiences in the world. We ought to take it seriously. We should take amazing care of them. We also should take care of ourselves and our relationships.
Just the other day my husband and I got home from our business. It had been a long day with lots to finish at the garage. Working together has it’s perks but on this particular day I wasn’t feeling any of them. It just so happens that I must have been giving off some sort of negative vibe. OK, so that’s putting it nicely…I’m sure I had been acting like a total, umm… grouch all week. Our oldest daughter is very tuned into me. She knows when I’m overwhelmed and could snap at any moment. So what does she do? She texts me a list of things she needs me to get at the store. Then she tells my husband and I to go on a motorcycle ride. We did.
Appropriately enough, I rode ‘b****’ on the back of the bike. It was a beautiful night. I could feel the tension leaving my body as we wound our way along the beautiful countryside and looked over at the Vermont mountain sunset. We stopped along the way at a wide spot on the river and took a walk down to the water. We talked about how much the girls would like it there. How we should bring them back sometime soon.
When we finally decided to head back home, our girls had made a delicious dinner for us. Baked ziti, a gorgeous salad and homemade dressing, fruit salad in carved watermelon bowls, and dessert awaited. They had set the table, including flowers to complete the atmosphere.
I can’t even begin to explain how much this evening meant to me.
I was at a breaking point with everything I had going on and that motorcycle ride and sweet, sweet gesture from our daughters just gave me a complete recharge for my family.
Sometimes we need to make opportunities for ourselves and sometimes we need to take the opportunities we are given and, in our case, roll with it.