I fell in love at 15. I was tagging along with a friend to the drive-in because her new boyfriend and his cousins invited her and she felt weird going alone. The cousin driving angled his rear view mirror so he could look into my eyes and bam! I was hooked! If he could make me feel that way with his eyes…well! My connection to the man who would become my husband was instantaneous. The moment we met I was head over heels and everything just clicked into place. Our relationship has always been so natural. Being together is just where we were meant to be. All we wanted from that first moment was to spend every moment together. We dreamed of building a family together and having it all.
Once the kids were born, the focus shifted and everything became about them. Together my husband and I revelled in the joy of being parents, of having created a family. Nothing mattered as much as our happy little pod. Neither of us minded setting aside ourselves as priority when it meant we could all be so happy. I have always said there is nothing better than a child’s laughter. It can make you feel good even on your darkest days. It was everything we ever wanted. We were lucky, our kids were good, happy and healthy. There is no such thing as a perfect life but we have had so much love it got as close as you can get without a leprechaun and a pot of gold.
For years and years my identity was solely wrapped up in being…mom.
Now, we have reached the stage in life where the kids are growing up and getting ready to start out on their own. For a time, I thought they didn’t need us as much but I am learning they need us more than ever. They just don’t know it anymore. As I watch them navigate their way into adulthood and all the ups and downs along the way I realize this is where they need us to show them the way. Unfortunately, some days the arrogance of the teenage mind dictates they do the exact opposite but the comparison is there when the fog clears and they have learnt the hard way. I have seen how hard growing up can be even when you have provided a loving home. I have stood frozen in terror, unable to fix what is wrong and desperate to do so. I am learning I can not shield my boys from every hurt in life no matter how much I wish I could. These are hard lessons but apparently necessary ones.
In the mean time my husband and I are rediscovering, well…us. We are seeing a future that isn’t dictated by sporting events and music recitals. We are seeing a time of romantic vacations instead of Disney. It’s still more sad than exciting to be honest but the idea of just us two is growing in appeal. We’re still not fully there, not ready to let go but I now believe the time will come. I used to tease my boys that they could just stay home forever and if they really needed to marry bring the wife and kids to live with us. Little did they know I wasn’t kidding. As I inch toward 40 though I know that isn’t reality and that I will have to let them go out on their own. The idea still hurts but now I know, it won’t always. I still reminisce about my sweet little babies and I miss those days but I am growing to like the idea of focusing on us again. My hubby and I will be ok alone. We actually still like each other after 23 years. Go figure! We will have fun, we will live life! We will miss the days of picnics and tobogganing but if we’re lucky maybe we’ll fill the emptiness with sandy beaches and swim up bars. We’re not there yet but I am believing that we will be and it will be ok.
Of course, then there is always grand kids……….weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!