I realized this morning that I go around in circles a lot these days. It goes along with parenting two young children and managing a marriage. This morning Husband caught me in an embrace as we did our usual morning bumping-into-each-other dance, spinning in circles around each other in the kitchen pulling together breakfast for the three-year-old and nine-month-old who sat expectantly (and not very patiently) in their places at the table. In that moment of pause with my husband’s arms around me, I caught the curious and slightly amused look on Dear Daughter’s face. “What are you guys doing?” she asked. “Indeed,” I thought to myself, “What ARE we doing?” Only mine was a much more loaded question than Daughter’s was. Apparently the dance has become splintered and frenzied enough that Dear Daughter is unaccustomed to seeing intentional body contact between her parents.
During the first several years of our marriage (6 ½ years, to be exact), I remember looking forward to the weekends when Husband and I would spend a great deal of time together hiking, biking, taking drives to the Oregon coast to hold hands at the ocean’s edge, going out for dinner or a movie, or just meandering about together doing chores like grocery shopping or yard work. We did pretty much everything together. But that was before the metamorphosis.
Now, two rug rats later and nearing the 10th year of our marriage, the only hiking we do is to Daughter’s britches when they need adjusting, the bikes are buried under huge piles of dust and debris somewhere in the garage, and there aren’t enough hands to juggle wee ones and all the necessary “gear” let alone have a free hand for each other. We no longer know the meaning of the word, “meander.” Meandering requires TIME. To be sure, the dance looks much different after 10 years. Husband and I tend to spend the weekends running in opposite directions—running in circles—running into each other in the mess of it all—“You manage that one, and I’ll manage this one.” I am thoroughly thankful for those 6 ½ childless years in which we enjoyed the comfort of a quiet waltz for two, and I occasionally draw on the memories of those years when I find myself pummeled about in the “mosh pit” of chaos that we currently call “family.”