Alex Molton muses on the different marriages out there, and is relieved to find hers seems to be doing ok.
So, we survived the half-term holiday and are now hurdling headlong into the last half of the school term. Actually we had a good one; the weather was decent enough, Son#1 was off all week doing a STEM camp, so the littlies (sort of) and I enjoyed some simple family fun and good times with friends.
Tack on a bit of old school pandemonium with Halloween this week and fireworks on Saturday, and it’s been a pretty good few weeks. I’m not generally a fan of making too many plans or over-organisation, but I do like the predictability of autumn and the fun family events, as nature goes to sleep and we slide towards the Christmas break.
As hoped for I did manage to find some quiet time for myself (unheard of in most families, I think) as when there are only two children at home, in any combination, they seem to play together nicely (for a while at least), entertain themselves and generally get on with it these days. The mad days of toddlerhood and preschoolers seem such a long time ago now, though I remember it seemed to last for ages at the time! I miss it every day, but it is exciting to see the kids grow into their own people and be able to have a laugh with them on a more equal footing – though I fear we are not far from them realising they are much smarter than me.
We also managed to catch up with adult friends over the holidays, which was really nice. Being two giant introverts we are not always very good at seeing other couples or our own friends, but it was good to find we had other things to talk about than the kids. It’s always quite insightful seeing how other couples operate. Most are quite like us and pretty chilled out, but some seem to be quite high maintenance, often with a bit of a power struggle thrown in, and I always wonder if people are really happy or just don’t want to be alone. I suspect they are just quite traditional and believe that marriage is for life (even when you are annoying).
Being the child of a single parent family and the only one of my siblings who is still married I guess the old adage ‘staying together for the children’ hasn’t really featured in my world. Every so often I ask OH if he really thinks he’ll stick with me for life, only to be met with rolling eyes and ‘yes, of course!’. I guess we are sold such a idealised version of marriage it’s hard not to be a bit sceptical that it could last forever (or is that just me?).
Actually we even carved out a bit of time as a couple over the break – mainly watching telly, but still, better than nothing, right? It’s good to be reminded of why we got together in the first place, be reassured that we still get on, and have conversations that aren’t just about family life. I used to describe us as waving to each other across the abyss, but with everyone getting bigger we are increasingly standing nearer to each other. By the time everyone has grown up and fled the nest we might even be holding hands. Maybe.