Sunday, February 10, 2013


This is from 2006.

Life was quiet and dating was long-distance, but super fun and we could have more than one cocktail with dinner.  I'm trying to remind myself that we were fun once - going to the state fair and walking to Kansas (it was literally a block from our first apartment, but it was always fun to say we walked all the way to Kansas.) and spending an evening roaming the shelves at Barnes and Noble and picking out furniture at Restoration Hardware that we were never going to buy and holding hands while we walked down the sidewalk and kissing at stoplights.

Now a good night is when Finn allows himself to relax enough that we don't have to sit by his bed for 45 minutes until he falls asleep, because hearing "I just need a snuggle" between sobs is heartbreaking.  A really good night is when he doesn't get in bed with us until after 6 am.  Abby dipped her toes into teenage rebellion this weekend.  Actually, she stepped in up to her ankles.  I have no words for the crushing exhaustion that episode turned into.

I find this parenting from the trenches is straining to our relationship and I'm endeavoring to find ways that we can put the exhausting part of parenting aside, even for just an evening, and remember what it was like before our conversations included poop discussions and puberty hormones.  Some nights that means foregoing the ten o'clock news for a game of cribbage or Scrabble.  Some nights it's date night in.  We need to work on date night out more.  I'm trying to let go of the control more: Abby gets to make dinner every Tuesday and this afternoon I let her loose in the kitchen to make chocolate cupcakes - and low and behold, I got only the minimal amount of complaining when I sent her outside to do some shoveling, instead of her usual "I am not your slave!" speech.  I let Finn eat ice cream for breakfast this morning, and after he put his spoon in the sink and his paper carton in the trash by himself, he said to me, "That was a lovely breakfast!" and we snuggled on the couch.

Is it really as simple as cupcakes and ice cream?  Do I really just need to pull back a little to see big rewards?  Can we find a balance between parenting/jobs/housework and being a married couple who feels that spark from when we were first dating?

I don't know, but I'm will to try and find out.

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