Saturday, December 04, 2010

Parting is sorrow

My brother once said to me, after we were pregnant with the twins that he would pray for our marriage. I looked at him quizzically. After all, I had just announced that I was pregnant and not that I was having marital problems. He explained himself.

Children, while a blessing could strain a marriage. And children were resilient, despite getting sick often etc. A marriage, however, could be chucked by the wayside when children entered a marriage and marriage wasn't all that resilient. So he would pray for our marriage.

Our marriage indeed has changed since the children arrived. We've grown up more and we're more conscious about showing respect to one another and also openly being appreciative of one another's efforts. One thing that I love about Packrat is that he takes very seriously the commandment "Love your wife as Christ loved the church". And one way he shows it is to whisk me away on vacation about once a year.

It's a difficult thing for me to do. I love my children. I miss them terribly and I suffer from an acute case of chronic Mommy's guilt. That makes it hard to leave them despite them draining me and making me constantly feel that I am running on fumes. Packrat gets the running on fumes bit and he is very adamant when it comes to our couple time and pockets of breather time for me away from the kids.

On a regular basis, he will rise to the challenge of taking all the kids off my hands so that I can go out and have tea with a friend or have my nails done or anything totally unrelated to motherhood. And like I say, once a year, he would declare that we are off on a vacation to somewhere without the kids.

This year, we are about to leave for the US. In a few days actually. And I am already missing the kids. To be fair to Packrat, he has given me 8 months notice to do this. He booked our trip in April and told me in no uncertain terms, we were going.

But I will miss Jordan and her imaginary worlds. I will miss her kisses and her cuddling up to me at night. I will miss Evan and the 101 hilarious quips he says all days. I will miss the quiet moments with him where he looks at me straight in the eye and I can see right into his pure earnest soul. I will miss Muffin. The little one who was such an unexpected gift to us all. His cackling and shrieking ways.

His voracious appetite for destruction and all the little milestones that he is achieving everyday. I am about to miss out on two weeks worth of milestones.

But at the same time, I do know that I've missed Packrat and my time with him. We hardly even share the same bed anymore because the twins have taken to relegating us to the floor and the couch while they commandeer the entire king sized bed. So I know it's time for him. And in a sobby moment with Packrat where I told him I didn't know how I was going leave the three kids, he said in a rare expression of emotion that he needed me too.

That was when I knew why my brother said that he would pray for our marriage. It's easy to lose sight of our spouses in this game of parenthood. We live tandem lives. We are parents. But before we were parents, we were husband and wife, lovers and friends first. And it's a lot of effort to remember that.

So, I am going to try and suck it up and breathe as much of the kids as I can and store it for the next two weeks. And I look forward to being able to hang out with my best friend for the next two weeks without any interruptions that begin with "Mommy Mommy!"

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  1. Yes, real stress & change comes only after kids come along. Before kids, marriage is like one long date.