My first baby, Sam, was born 8 1/2 years ago. He is changing before my eyes. I don’t know how to deal with his moping-in-the-corner one minute, and calling me “Mommy” the next. For so many years, I looked forward to alone time or date night with a craving deep in my bones. The kids were so little – and I was exhausted most of the time. Now, I find myself wanting to rewind time. I can see it all unfolding before me…he’s almost 9. He’s almost half gone. My first baby.
We had a little gathering Sunday with good friends, and Sam spent most of the time sulking in another room, and I could almost feel him crawling out of his own skin. I secretly followed him around the house, wanting to give him space, but wanting a hug so badly. When he finally crawled into my lap as I was sitting at the table, I burst into tears. I miss my baby, and I desperately love the boy he’s growing into.
I guess that’s what a tween feels like…not a baby, not a teenager, but trying to hang on while still moving forward.
I feel the same exact same way.
Paul and I celebrated our 13th Anniversary yesterday, and you would’ve thought we won the lottery based on our waitress’s reaction. It was like we were the last couple left on earth! It’s interesting — being in our 40′s now, with a lot of people we know re-evaluating their marriages, their lives, their choices, being married even a medium amount of time feels like an accomplishment.
But what standard should we strive for? Is feeling ‘ok’ about your marriage good enough? Should we work — really take time to study– how to make our unions that much better? I mean, after the kids are long gone, this is what we’ve got. It just seems logical that we’d want to make that ‘thing’ successful. But it’s tough, and I have a few friends right now just hanging on to their marriages — indifferent, even. “If it’s this hard now, how do I know it will get better down the line?” my friend “Sheila” just said to me. “Maybe it’s time for a change.”
I can’t judge that. We all feel ‘eh’ sometimes, and let our partnerships skate for awhile. Maybe it’s just making sure that somewhere along the line, you take a moment to concentrate on the good – and ask “Who is this guy and why is he in my house?” Now that my kids are older, I’ve completely given up on the dishwasher being unloaded. But watching my 6 year-old daughter stare up into his eyes like he’s hung the moon…that’s pretty awesome, and makes me realize that he loves us all a lot.