04 March 2010

When I started this venture....

... my kids were 1, 2, 4 and 12. What a difference just over a year makes. I remember telling my husband, when we first embarked on this consecutive pregnancies and / or the care and feeding of many small children and a budding "tween" - a couple of years ago - that we would "hunker" down - never travel - eat mac n cheese and hot dogs every night - like really LIVE!!! in our house with no hope of repainting, repairing or improving - deal with no social life - no new restaurants - no self-exploration - no quality time one on one with any of the kids. It would be down and dirty - total survival mode. And... in a way is STILL is survival mode (are in the midst of our busiest right now - with a toddler, preschooler, new kindergartner and middle schooler about to embark on her high school adventure), but.... more prominently, it is NOT as I imagined. It has been richer and more rewarding than I could ever describe - but it has also been sink to the bottom, face your issues and pick it all up and move on as well. I've been chubby and anemic with acne and no friends - desperately looking for ME, but I have also felt empowered and begun to embrace life with a new fortitude and a definite positive attitude.

So ... we (hubby and I) have become better cooks, more enlightened parents and occasional restaurant and club hoppers. We made it to Paris - to New York City - to Disney and many beautiful beaches - to DC, Williamsburg and Cleveland (yes - kids in tow). Glamorous? Not really. Fun? Yes!!! We garden, we paint, we blog, we listen to music, we brainstorm new ventures... we enjoy life. There must be a secret - something going on, right? How many of us - stretched to our limit - find our niche - our Zen - ???

So - within all the yoga and ab crunches and herb growing and banana bread baking and freelancing projects that we love, do we spend the time we need with our kids. We do! Often seems an endless and sentimental sea of bike rides, zoo classes, basketball games, chaotic lunches out, cuddles and movie nights. Do we enjoy each other? Of course - closeness and conversation and shared interests and intense physical attraction and discussions of a bright future. Did we have lows? Absolutely. Are there highs? All the time. Ugh - breathless. And wondering. Where does this lead? Where have we been? I'm thinking - let's conduct a little experiment. It'll be fun. Interested?

I think you have to let go of your old life once you embark on an "adventure" or a path like we have - like many have. You are Alice down the rabbit hole - cute Keanu in the Matrix taking whatever pill he took. There is no "old life" - there is no going back. Every step takes your further down your path. And, in our case, we have experienced extreme loss, some betrayal, a lot of conflict out of our control, but... it is all part of "it" - the life path or fate you have "chosen". And it is good. And it is bad. It is what it is.


Facie said...

I think it IS kind of glamorous all those trips you took.

I am of the mindset that when you have kids, they should be your top priority/center of your life. But I realize that is not the most healthiest attitude when you are married.

I need something b/w what my one sibling and his wife have (they have had at least four or five trips, some overseas, sans kids, and their youngest is not quite 4) and what my husband and I have (lucky to have one date a year).

Sadly, I still suffer from working mother's guilt even though I have not really worked for almost a year!

Sherri said...

We are lucky to have had such good traveling experiences. I think a lot of people balk at the idea of NOT going out to the finest restaurants in Paris - or NOT seeing a show in NY, etc. We go bare bones on our trips - rented an apartment in Paris - borrowed a high chair from our host - used public transportation - ate Croques Monsieurs and Nutella Crepes from street vendors AND in New York, the only dinner out we had was at American Girl where our, at the time, grade schooler wanted to go. So... we do what we can do, right? Though.... your brother's sans kids trips are fun, I'm sure :-)...