Greetings to you, my dear, patient, blog-friends; I am embarrassed by the severe lack of significant content to my site lately, yet you still come by to visit, encourage, & bless me in so many ways. Thank you for not shrugging off the fluff & wandering to greener pastures~ my fragile ego couldn’t take the rejection
I find myself at the threshold of a long anticipated, but somewhat disconcerting, phase in my life. All the signs are there: age-wise, I’m likely halfway through my journey; I’ve managed to stay married to the same man for two decades; my eldest child past the quarter-century mark this past weekend, the youngest will turn 18 in a couple of months & is
plotting his escape planning his journey into independence. I’ve reached middle age with most of my faculties & the majority of my relationships intact, so now I’m looking forward to…Life Without Children.
While I will always be a parent, I am essentially done parenting, my career for the past 25 years. They’ve been brought from conception to adulthood; taught to dress, feed, & clean up after themselves; been shown right from wrong, the importance of honesty, fairness, integrity, & a good work ethic; been corrected when they screw up, cheered when they do well, & admonished to not run with scissors, share their toys with others, & don’t pull the cat’s tail. What happens from here on out is up to them- we are here to listen, encourage, & offer advice when asked, but the responsibly for their wellbeing is out of our hands. Plans & choices made or discarded throughout my adulthood have been based on the needs & schedules of the children; in the future, it will be about what I (okay, we- I do intend to keep Chris around a few more decades) require, fancy, or dream. This is some heady stuff & it will take some practice to not feel like I’m forgetting something.
We had a little dress rehearsal of LWC last week, when Chris & I celebrated our anniversary. He actually had three days in a row off work, including the 2nd, so I did a bit of last minute arranging (including calling in *cough-cough* sick) for a getaway to Lake Tahoe. Since Sam had just started school (& I had no intention of taking a child along), I began to wrack my brain as to where he could stay overnight, when it came to me: he is 17 years old, levelheaded, & reasonably trustworthy - he can stay by himself. Chris blinked a bit when I told him, but- Lord love him- he’s a trusting soul & bows to my judgment. So, off we toddle, leaving Sam with a list of chores & reminders to call if he goes anywhere & to set his alarm clock, since Mom won’t be there to make sure he gets to school on time.
We had a restful couple of days in lovely weather, wandering & napping, looking thru windows & staring at the water, having a little adventure & then wandering home by way of Apple Hill for supplies & a gift. Our friend Keith, a chieftain of the Caledonian Club, not only arranged for Games tickets all weekend, he even scored us front-and-center box seats for the closing ceremonies Sunday evening (oh, how I would have loved those seats last year, when I was trying to get video of the teens performing with the masses pipe bands!), so I wanted to get him something special by way of thanks.
We arrived home to find the house intact, the animals fed & watered, & Sam ready to leave for his tennis lesson, so I believe the experiment was a success. It was only the fourth time in our marriage that we went away without the children- & the last time was seven year ago! With Chris’ busy season winding down at last & little extra in the bank thanks to an extensive side job, I think we will attempt another retreat in the near future- maybe the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite or a B&B in San Francisco.
That’s another facet of LWC to work through- we have to get accustomed to it being just the two of us, something we’ve never experienced for more than a couple of weeks at a time. I think (I hope) we have stayed fairly connected over the years of “Us versus Them”, but in all honesty, beyond sharing a private bedroom every night (no co-sleeping around here- adults only!), we haven’t logged much couple-time over the past twenty years. My greatest concern is that we will find ourselves sitting silently in the living room every evening, or leading completely separate lives, more like roommates with benefits, then partners in life. I don’t expect us to be joined at the hip; heaven forbid~ I need regular solitude to be even remotely pleasant to be around. No, my goal is more to enjoy the next half of my life with the man of my choice, to share some of those adventures we’ve dream about, instead of simply sharing quarters through mutual affection & commitment.
Grand ideals & lofty goals, you say? No, self-preservation, really; I’ve seen souls shrivel up & marriages drift into apathy once the children moved on. We’ve weathered too many storms, invested too many years & tears, to let that happen to us. I look forward to the day of our Golden Anniversary celebration, surrounded by friends, family, grandchildren, & probably great-grandchildren, & our son bragging in his speech that Mom & Dad are not only best friends- they still only have eyes for each other.
Yeah, I can see that.