I think the most eye opening thing about having children, is how everything else in your life shifts.
It’s almost like your past life never happened.
I’m only 2 years deep into this whole thing, and as I scroll back through pictures of pre-babies, I’m reminded life wasn’t always spit up and poop – but almost can’t even remember those days.
I caught up with an old friend recently, we hadn’t had quality time together in ages – and we reminisced about the good old days.
College – yikes.
Post College NYC – even yikes-ier.
If I attempted a fraction of what I once did in a week then, now, I would be dead. It’s truly incredible the phases our lives take on, with us in the passenger’s seat.
I imagine I will not be alone in thinking or saying this, but what might get neglected the most, once you have children, is the thing that brought them into this world.
When I met Nathan, that moment – I knew, everything was about to change. There was absolutely, unequivocally, something different about him, about us.
Maybe he didn’t know, but I knew – he was the one I was going to be with and create a life with.
Now, I am not one to believe in ‘meant to be” – in the esoteric sense – but after simply talking to him, I knew I would love him.
Our courtship was a relatively quick one – met online, first date two weeks later, dated a year, engaged/moved in and married within the next year. But I appreciated every day in that brief dating experience. I had waited an insanely long time for the right guy, for me. And he was it. He fit absolutely none of my long list of criteria.
And thank god he didn’t.
Rarely do I have trouble finding words – but around this, I seem to. Nathan is my everything. And I hate to say it, but since this brood expanded, I believe I haven’t said it enough, haven’t appreciated him enough.
Relationships often work best when there are complementary personalities within them. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, that is us.
And it works…
For the most part, of course.
The choice to have children is a big one – your life changes – entirely – and there is no version of going back. The quick trips out of the city. The long walks, holding hands, aimlessly. The vacations. The sleep. Just the two of you. They all become fond, albeit distant, memories while scrolling through pictures.
Do I regret anything in this current life? No. Do I wish there were more hours in a day where just the two of us, could be just the two of us, again? Absolutely. Will it happen at some point in the future? I’ve heard it does – though from this vantage point, I’m not sure I see that light at the end of the tunnel.
Along with my recent near miss, came a new found appreciation and sense of gratitude. I adore my husband like no one I have ever encountered. He is a good, good person. He is kind and thoughtful, he is loving and warm. He is moral and honest. He is creative and smart. Dedicated and loving. Funny and inquisitive. He has amazing ethic and an even more incredible heart. And supports me being me entirely. But most importantly he is a true partner and the most adoring father.
He doesn’t ever meet me half way, he goes way, way, way beyond. He is the strength to all my weaknesses.
I am not here to brag. Hardly. We have a TON of shit we should be working on. But ain’t no one got time for that. We had an incredible year of therapy right at the outset of our marriage because (I believe) everyone should. Two different people with two different communication styles and many different approaches to life and what matters. Get that crap sorted out at the beginning so you can start on solid ground. (And if not at the beginning, find another time. It’s so important. Ok, I’ll get off my therapy soapbox now).
I know there are more things, ahem, we should be doing, as a married couple. And I know we will again. But right now, we are raising the next generation, of good, kind (hopefully!) humans. I can only hope that when their time comes to begin their true adventure of life, we can be role models, in our marriage, so they too, seek out the right person for them – to build something beautiful and spectacular together.
I hope they learn, it is always worth the wait.
My final quote in my wedding vows was by Anne Bancroft, on her marriage to Mel Brooks:
“Whenever I hear his key in the door, I think, o goody, the party is about to begin.”
Nathan, if you’re reading this, I owe you everything, I do not take any of it for granted, I love you, I thank you, there will be vacations one day again, you will sleep through the night at some point. You are what keeps my heart beating…and no, I still haven’t done the dishes.