“Let’s work together, you and I,
(in We’Moon on the Wall, 2014)
We had a date last night courtesy of my parents and went out for sushi, alone, for the first time in what feels like a long time. After sushi, we went to A Slice of Pie and got a piece of apple pie with cinnamon sauce to share. While we love our children very much, we marveled quite gleefully at how delightful (and cheap!) it was to buy just one piece of pie and have it be enough. We went to the video store to rent a movie and as we walked in holding hands, we said, “remember what it was like to just do things together?” We were laughing, talking, and enjoying each other’s company and I had the realization that I also had when I went on my own with my mom to Kansas last year to wait for the birth of my nephew: oh, yeah. I’m actually a happy, funny, nice, and helpful person. Sometimes I feel like that gets drowned out or even obliterated by the mental fragmentation, constant distractions, and simple life management of parental life. We were together for eight years before our first baby was born and we had lots of shared, non-parental experiences. I realized last night that miss that. By the same token, we rarely spend time with any of the kids on their own either, they’re more of a group unit to be managed. I feel sad about that sometimes—wondering who they each are on their own terms and what our relationship, 1:1, is like.
While our goal for basically our entire marriage has been to live a home-based life with life and work seamlessly integrated together, the side effect of that home-based life is a type of oversaturation or enmeshment, wherein it is hard to appreciate each person, instead of working around, over, and through them. It also means that it feels good to sometimes get out and do other things. I love my home. I love being home and I love having a home-centered life. I don’t like driving places and rushing from place to place. My ideal week pretty much involves no more than two trips to town, preferably one. However, I also like small adventures and enjoying new experiences with my family. While you would think that day-in and day-out at home all together would be enough “togetherness,” it actually isn’t, because of that working around each other thing I already mentioned. Early this week, we all went to Six Flags near St. Louis and had a fabulous time. Next week, we’re going to stay in a cabin by the river. I’m not quite sure how we’ll do it, but I think we need to try harder to build in some couple time on our own, outside of the house as well.
(This is a little bit more of a depressing quick anniversary blog post than I meant to write! Sorry!)
On our anniversary, I always like to share this blog post with the poem a friend wrote about our rainy wedding:
Sun blessing stone,
birds blessing sky
and in the gentle benevolence of that day
the bride and her ribboned maidens
would drift, pale and clear as flowers
toward the welcoming arms of her groom…