We made it through another year along with another year of staying married. Sometimes I wonder how.
As I have said in earlier blogs, the first year of wedded bliss was anything but. We fought, or shall I say, I fought...for attention, for things and for power. Then we settled for a number of years and lived. We raised toddlers, held babies, and dealt with school agers. He traveled, worked, fixed things around the house and did what I asked of him. The house has been a mess for alot of years while I pursued my passions...kids, jobs, house and marriage...sadly in that order. My husband has never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. When the kids were 8,6 and 4, I decided that I should move for the summer to church camp and work as the nurse...bring the kids and go for 12 weeks. "You really want to do that?"..."What do I do?" he asked. "You can stay home and take care of the dogs and try to sell the house...you can come and see us on weekends" I replied. "If you really want to, that's okay with me" he said quietly. It actually was okay and a great thing for the family and when he turned 40 that summer, one of the counselors took the kids for the night and we celebrated his birthday. The second time in our marriage that he and I were alone for a night since we had kids. When the kids got a little older, he would ask "You wanna go out on a date?" and I would say no..."I'm too tired, the kids are doing something, I'm on a diet, etc" and he would just say okay. I wonder how that feels to be turned down every week when you want to spend time together. Probably not too great.
As they say..."The chickens have come to roost". I have three teenagers and they have their own lives. They make plans on the weekends and evenings and while they are home alot...they are also gone doing their thing. So is Jim. He turned 50 and his priorities have shifted a bit. Not in a "mid-life, buy a motor cycle, get a younger chick " way at all. I mean, he did buy that giant F350 but he will tell you that was for the family...to pull the marching band instruments to the competitions, go camping with the family, etc..and he has been true to his word although he knows he looks good in that thing! But, he is pursuing some of his passions. This week, he traveled down to Juarez...yes, I know, the most dangerous city in the world...to build a house for a family living in a box. He gladly shows up with the boys and I when we go to the Rescue mission and gets the coveted spot where he hands out the trays to the "guests." He loves that job because he can talk to every single guy that comes through for a little dinner.
He called me from Las Vegas, NM on his way home last night. He was brimming with excitement from his week of service. I was listening quietly when he asked "How are you?" I stopped a minute and said, through a cracked voice..."I'm lonely...the Queen is on a road trip and the boys are house sitting"...to which he replied, "I'll be home soon." Then I said, "Tommorrow is our anniversary" and he started to talk about how we have been married 23 years and how did the time go so fast and what a lucky bunch our family is.
Every year at this time, I think about getting this new year right. This year, I am going to be a better wife...a better partner. I am going to be more supportive and have more patience and kindness...give more compliments and be more tolerant. This year is no different but it is. Come August 2012, two out of three of my excuses will have left the roost. Another year of shifts and changes...exciting but difficult at the same time.
When Jim reads this...if he does, he will say I have it all wrong. That he couldn't have made this life without me, that I am the one who keeps things going and that he is the difficult one to live with, that he is lucky to have me and it's all the other way around. But that isn't true...his patience, kindness and willingness to hang in there for the morsels of attention when I was too busy to notice has made me realize what a gift he is to me. It's taken me a while to understand...but I do.
So here's to another year...of life and marriage. Here's to another year of watching the family thrive, being kind and tolerant, tending to our servant hearts together and to enjoying being together...the family time and the couple time...whatever that is.
Jim, I love you and haven't made that clear at times...but I hope you know I do and always have.
Happy 23rd anniversary...who would have thought you and I would have made it this far?
We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,