In the beginning there was us.
Oh, that exciting, stomach-butterfly time when there was nothing better than being together!
It didn’t matter whether we were laughing over a joke or going for a hike.
We were all we needed. He and Me.
That lasted until about a year into our marriage. Suddenly, Greg mentioned “there was something missing.” I thought that something was a trip to Europe. Greg thought what was missing was a baby. We debated it.
My argument: “Think of all the beautiful things to see and do in Europe: The Louvre, the Crown Jewels, the ruins!” His argument: “My back hurts, I’m not getting any younger (he was 25), babies are beautiful and Europe will still be there when the baby grows up”.
I’ve never been a great debater.
Therefore there was us + a baby. He was so cute and we loved him so much we decided to have another.
Then there was us + a pre-schooler + twins.
Then there was complete and utter bedlam.
How did we get here? This was a question that had the power to distract me while I chased. I did a lot of chasing. I chased our toddler twins around the park, chased the clock to get to work on time and chased after my ideal body as I jogged down the street. I did it all while routinely both wiping gummed Cheerios from my shirt and baking a Bon Appetit worthy cake for the PTA.
Yes, I thought to myself, I see how we got here, but what about the He and Me part? We had children to be a family but ended up separate.
We had defaulted to the Divide and Conquer plan that worked for Rome. Or Go Fish: Do you have twin #1? I’ll trade him to take to the grocery store. I’ll give you twin #2 and the kindergartener for you to go to Home Depot. Let’s meet up back here and count our kids and purchases and see who wins. Whoo hoo!
Our family was happy and healthy but I worried that all this “togetherness” was anything but. There was precious little time for Date Night, and when we got the chance we ended up talking about which child was going through a “smear the walls with peanut butter” phase, which one was smarter and which one was most likely to end up in jail. We healthily engaged in wine drinking.
Comic relief we had, real togetherness time, not so much.
Fast-forward 10 years. Suddenly we have the opposite problem: the kids don’t need us 24-7 and can actually be trusted to make their own dinner, brush their teeth and go to bed before 11 pm.
Excellent! NOW we can go do things together, I thought. Just He and Me, like before kids!
Now if I could just remember what we used to do…
Next Posting, Part II: “I Got You Babe, Now What?”