“Can’t you just go to a fancy dinner like last year?” our 8-year old son pleaded the night before we left for our anniversary get-a-way. “I know you’ll miss us honey and we’ll miss you too. I promise you will have fun with Grandma and Grandpa.” It’s never easy to leave your kids, but when the stars align and you get a rare opportunity to mix a work trip with an anniversary celebration, you just can’t pass that up.
Some parents might have anxiety leaving their kids. How will they handle our daily routines? What will the kids eat? Will they get enough sleep? The list could go on and on. I can understand those feelings to a point, but you must choose the couple things that are most important and let the rest work itself out. Naturally, prior to leaving there was a list of who had to be where, on what day, with what homework, etc. etc. Even though instructions were left, I knew they were going to do things their way. Maybe bedtimes were later, there were more sweets than usual and different routes were taken to school – but that’s the small stuff and it doesn’t matter! They were fed, made it to practice, went to school and slept, beyond that the details in between did not matter. We were so grateful my parents could stay with our kids while we got time away. Did our kids miss us? Sure, they did, but have they been scarred for life because we spent six days apart? Absolutely not, in fact, being apart allowed us to recharge our batteries and come back appreciating each other more.
With the kids taken care of, we left for Miami ready to cruise around the Bahamas and Key West. Though we were “alone”, you are never alone on a cruise ship, especially when that ship includes 200 co-workers, but mixing business and pleasure with this group was not a bad thing. There is so much respect, admiration and appreciation these people all have for each other, it is amazing to be a witness to. They all knew it was our anniversary and the heartfelt wishes they gave us were so genuine. Not only that, but the outpouring of love on our Facebook posts from friends near and far, touched us and made us feel like rock stars for a day.
This year was our Sweet Sixteen Anniversary and for the first time it sounds like a very long time. When people asked us how long, most people reacted with wow or congratulations. There was only one woman who said “Oh you guys are just babies.” Many marriages never make it to this point, so it got me thinking – how have we made it work? Of course, there are multiple reasons but if I had to boil it down to just one thing, it’s that we’ve both been willing to grow. We are not the same two people that stood at that altar in Westchester sixteen years ago. We’ve challenged each other and made the other analyze why they feel the way they do about something. It’s made us better listeners. It’s taught us how to have more patience (something that neither one of us thought was possible). We have had to reevaluate and redefine priorities and then identify the things that are okay to let slide. We’ve learned to accept that if it’s important that the kitchen counter be spotless before bed, then it’s up to you do it because you can’t expect the other to be as passionate about a clear counter as you are. :-)
Now we are back, refreshed and ready for the hustle and bustle to begin again. Appreciating even more this wonderful life we have built around us and the people we are blessed to have as a part of it. Realizing that there is still a lot more growing for us to do.
The holidays are coming – are you ready for the craziness that comes along with it? Let’s set up time to talk! Direct message or email me at balancedheartcoaching.com and we’ll set up time this week to get you ready for whatever might come your way.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.