Monday, March 19, 2012

Life After Kids? Is it possible

I recently went skiing it was amazing! I had such a great time and I taught my husband, who swore he would get on a pair of skis about the time he ever got on a horse by himself. He is adventurous as long as it has an engine and he can putter with it. My loves when we got married were vast and varied- I didn't make much sense, probably still don't, but I loved skiing and horseback riding. I kind of gave these things up and no not for Paul but it just kind of happened. I knew Paul didn't like those things along with my theater interests and musical interests. I kept some of my interests and others just got compromised because spending time with each other was more important and besides if you have ever started having a family and you have 4 children under 8 and  in-laws and family obligations you know what I mean, friends tend to slip away and get their feelings hurt because instead of going out you would rather SLEEP! As a young couple you have single friends and married career friends and then others that are in the same boat as you. I will tell you now the only ones you will keep and have actual relationships with are the ones the understand that life or life as you would like or know it is put on hold for the next 20 years until they are all off to college. Paul and I are discovering that lately. Only 2 out of the four are off and we still have more responsibilities then either of us enjoy but we are starting to discover that if we want any life left when the kids leave for lives of their own we have to try and cultivate some interests - activities- and hopefully old friends or new ones along the way.
If you know Paul and I you know we are not the go out party till dawn at the bar and dance all night kind of people. We are more the build a fire, roast marshmallows and watch the stars kind of people. We have become very inactive actually, I suppose that is from the idea that when everyone was finally in bed at night and there were no more requests for glasses or water or hugs and kisses goodnight the best possible feeling was to SIT down and DO nothing! I am telling you in the younger years - ask either Paul or I and we will tell you it was a better feeling then sex and just as orgasmic! Chasing boys all day long, your on a permanent jog just to avoid major injuries and catastrophic apocalyptic end of the world confrontations! I am not joking and only  mothers and fathers of all male children can understand. You can not throw a girl in the midst because honestly it changes the whole dynamic and mellows everyone out. Or if you have less then three that also changes the way they relate to one another and you can keep it mostly under control. You see I was there I had three BEFORE I had four and all those people that tell you "aww whats one more? Once you get to three one more is nothing" Ummm I am here to tell you that is baloney! You add that fourth and you do not have enough hands or feet anymore to deal with them all even when it is BOTH of you trying to wrangle them into obedience.
Boys have 'IDEAS'! ufda do they ever. Have you ever in your life wondered how a cat would look launched from a catapult on the deck and if they would catch the tree on branch on the way by in midair or if they would land 200 ft away on their feet? It just isn't something I concern myself with because WHY would you even do that to a living animal? Answer is making sure its safe before they launch their baby brother. Yep such has been my life for years and I actually have good boys with brilliant brains. I have run into other mothers over the years and our bond is strong because when you answer you have only sons they instantly feel for you because they too deal with the 'creativity' of the male mind daily. It is obvious where these ideas come from when in the midst of trying to discipline your husband is trying not to laugh his head off and as soon as the door is shut he turns to you and says "wow that was creative. Do you think it would work on the possums?" WHAT?!?! I know my whole face blanched white and my mouth dropped open on that one, all I could do is shake my head. Words escape me.
Anyway so when you have done this for 20 years until your sending 2 off to college and you have a fifteen year old that has more brains then to actually follow through any more you sit back and breathe. At least that's what I have been doing. I have been sitting back and congratulating myself that they are all in one piece and relatively smart together young men. I have realized how much I do not even closely resemble who I was when I started this journey of Motherhood and without having to constantly be there for one clean up or another I also realize my marriage is nothing like I used to know. I know we all whether we have sons or daughters when we have children most parents begin knowing each other and likes and dislikes- carrying on conversations that never involve the kids and end going out for a night and having nothing to talk about BUT the kids.
For example the other night my husband turns to me and says this, " I really miss dating you." I agree I miss dating him too. Now we have gone out over the years the boys have had babysitters but for the most part we didn't go without the boys too much. By the time you come home three to four times and there has been a fire or a flood of the bathroom and the very harried sitter looks at you like you have bred satans spawn you tend not to want to deal with the fall out of going out. Now we have had great sitters too don't get me wrong and sitters the boys adored. We have gone away four times in our marriage for a long weekend. They were all wonderful and we enjoyed them so much but twice I came home pregnant and the other two times one of us ended up on crutches. We are kind of disastrous when it comes to getting away. Paul and I do great until the day we are supposed to come home. So anyway we decided we were going to go out that Friday night. We checked with everyone of the guys to make sure Isaiah wouldn't be home alone. Now it comes to Friday night and we are both ready to go out. We get down to the car - which is a mini van, and my husband says it is the biggest man deflater, he is a car guy he loves cars he had nice cars and trucks until we had kids but practically with four kids a mini van just makes sense- He comes around and opens my door and we get in. Paul starts the van and then turns to me, "What are we doing?" I look at him with a deer in the headlights look, he asked me out so I assumed he would take it from there. Nope. Yes we got out all ready for a date and neither of us had any clue what to do. We ended up eating supper and talking about the boys, graduation, college deadlines, and Isaiah's test dates. See we are BORING!
If that would have happened before the kids we would have snagged a hot dog - which upsets stomachs now- and walked and talked for hours or gone and sat on park bench or log and watched the stars. Fiances wouldn't have entered the conversation - hearts would have, Worry would have been the farthest thing from our minds- instead concern for our struggling child consumed most of the conversation.
So after the worst date in history, when our sons wanted us to go skiing I was so ready! It was active and I remember I enjoyed it so much. I have not been on a pair of downhill skis in 22 years. I went once after we were married but never went again because Paul didn't want to try. This time I asked him and he decided to try. At fifty years old he decides to try skiing, not because I asked but because his sons wanted him to go. He liked it. He never fell once and he was a natural. I did fall, I tore muscle and ended up on crutches but I haven't had a better date in a very long time, even with my niece and son with us the whole time.
So it got me thinking... how do you put together or pick up a life you left when the raising and rearing is over? I do not know but I am going to figure it out. We are still in these bodies labeled Mom and Dad. We still enjoy each others company and like most of the same things we always have. It is a matter of finding those people again and letting responsibilities slide for awhile. After all learning to not be responsible has to be easier then learning to know when a room is too quiet and you had better find them quick before something alive gets flushed down the toilet!

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