As my husband and I build this life together, trying to figure out love, marriage, raising our kids, working, we’ve come to terms with our life on hectic, full speed, always on the go. And in four years, the last time we were “alone” together for any real length of time was our trip to the Bahamas, nearly three years ago. With 2.5 kids and both of our families out of town, time together (alone) is often not an option. So naturally now that we have five impromptu days together (alone), I’m not sure if we know what to do with ourselves.
I can tell you our first inclination was to sleep (or at least at 27 weeks that was my first inclination). But after a good night’s rest, or maybe a few good night’s rests, I’m excited about waking up each morning for the next few days to the sun (and maybe a little rain), laughter, us hanging out, and most of all to conversation between just us. Not that I don’t miss the kids (here comes that parental guilt), but I also miss the “us” of our family. Not the usual “us” racing out the door, or “us” comforting one of the kids, or “us” stressed out about work.
I miss the sweet and genuine “us” buried underneath layers of life. The “us”, where life is still moving, but we’ve slowed down to pay attention to each other and focus on what’s important—each other. There’s something about “us” (when the kids aren’t around) that reminds me there’s a grown-up relationship here that needs to be nurtured. We can’t forget about that. It’s just so easy to get caught up in parenting, working, life, and the random commitments of our busy days. So whether it’s a date night or vacation for the kids with family, it’s important that as a couple, we take good care of “us” without guilt or apologies.
My husband and I have always said we don’t want to lose ourselves in our schedules, our increasingly busy lives (which is easy to do with or without kids). But sitting here this morning, I thought, how do you know you’re lost in all that busy, until you’re lost in it? And sometimes by the time you realize you’re lost, there is so much work to do to revive a relationship, a marriage that for years came second, third, or sometimes even last, that some couples just give up. My husband and I vowed to love, commit, and live our lives differently, but we have no guidance in what that looks like. We are piecing love and life together freestyle. Even at our age, with all this life experience, we are fumbling through love and commitment, and could easily be careless in regards to each other. But before we let that happen, we ask for help, take a break, take care of each other, work hard to keep a common ground between us, together.
We won’t have many times alone like this (it takes such careful planning and preparation), but when we do, we know to count it grace and to be thankful. Our time together this week is because we asked for help, something we don’t typically do. It is the break we needed (gracias abuela, abuelo, y tía). This week our common ground is time—time with each other, to regroup, to sleep, to talk. Time to find ourselves back where we belong—“us”. Oh and when those kids come back (because surely we miss them), we’ll be well rested and reminded that love takes work, takes time, takes “us”.