Hiking in the forest hours ahead of the storm with my love and the Labs yesterday, I thought of the ridiculous racing of time that brought us to this “alone” place again. Sure, there are still two very dependent,, unemployed, young teenage boys at home, but a slow drip of unrelenting change has spilled over. Suddenly. we can leave the house, (after the expected “uh..maybe next time”” in response to our offer to join us) with a mostly safe assumption that the house will not burn down. It was all true, every word of sage advice given to me ten years ago..the “don’t blink, you’ll miss it” kind of warning that new parents can’t quite grasp whilst wrestling with the Diaper Genie and defiant toddlers.
It’s back to me and Joe again and two dogs, hitting the trail. Funny how natural it all feels..Thank God.
Because..there was that other bit of advice given by anyone who has ever penned a “How To” book on parenting…that nugget about making time for your relationship, make a date night, surprise your spouse wearing nothing but bubble wrap- or something like that. Yeah…not so much.
Work was the name of the game, often tag teaming each other as we flew in and out, sharing all responsibilities. I’ll drop the kids off..you pick them up..I’m on call this weekend..see you Monday, etc.. We, like most middle class folks, did this not as a choice, but as necessity..mouths to feed, a home to heat..such is life. (Our babies were loved to the moon and I like to think that our boys are the better for having parents who blurred the traditional roles..Dad cooks, cleans and folds laundry. To their future wives- you’re welcome.) A rare night away together was a “Have we met?” moment, but always worked out beautifully after the awkward introductions were out of the way..and maybe some clothing..*wink*.
So, hiking along and humming “Alone Again.. Naturally” (because I always have a cheesy 70’s tune playing in the background of my thoughts..I have no idea why.) and following Joe and the dogs single file on a slippery, hilly trail yesterday, I felt real joy. We are pulling up strong, together. When he reached back to instinctively grab my hand in his strong, reassuring one at the more treacherous spots, I sent a silent prayer of thanks to the ether…looks like we made it.