Hubby turned The Big Four-O a few weeks ago.
He’d just come home from a particularly stressful business trip, and he was greeted with a collapsed sewer line and an expensive car repair. Then a stomach bug came through our home like a case of the Motaba virus, and Hubby’s mood quickly shifted from worn-out to ornery.
Nevertheless, I believe a birthday is reason to celebrate. I took him out for sushi with plans to see a movie. By 8:15, he was ready to go home.
“Honey, we’re a middle-aged married couple with two rambunctious girls,” he said. “This is it. We’re old.”
Not one to be defeated, I drove to a local mall. “We can at least walk off our dinner,” I reasoned. Hubby grumbled. We were home by 9:45 and asleep by 10:30.
A few days later, I met friends for our monthly book club meeting. I lamented to the girls that I wished Hubby and I got out more. The book club is my only consistent social engagement, and Hubby doesn’t even have that. I attempted to pair him with a friend’s husband for golf.
“We’ve got three kids,” my friend said. “Joe doesn’t play golf anymore.”
Hubby’s voice rang in my ear. This is it. We’re old.
Bull. I refuse to allow parenthood to become an 18-year sentence of sweat pants and exhaustion. After Mini Me was born, I knew that I needed adjust, or completely change, parts of my life in order to fulfill my responsibility to my daughter.
But I also have a responsibility to myself. There’s more to who I am than the title of mother. There’s the wife. The daughter. The sister. The friend. The writer. The a person underneath all of the titles. The one who cannot get lost.
Taking care of that person keeps me at my best, and I haven’t been doing a good job lately. I’ve fallen victim to the slippery slope of laundry and daycare dashes, and solo trips to Target are welcomed like a spa vacation. When I’m out of sync, physical and mental exhaustion peak. Patience and my sense of humor tank. The latter two are quite critical to parenting, and quite honestly, to life in general.
So I’m not waiting until the kids go off to college for my life to begin. Thursday yoga is back on the docket. (There’s a studio by the office and one by the house so there’s no excuse to miss a class.) The girls and I are visiting the museum for a special exhibit this weekend. A friend and I have a concert date lined up next month. Hubby doesn’t know it yet, but there are better date nights in our future that will last longer than 90 minutes.
We’re a long way from Shady Pines.