Time Flies

“Time flies when you are having fun.”  That’s how the saying goes.  I see time literally flying by.  Today is the last day of school for the kids.  How did this happen?  I feel like we just got into our routine!  (We’re finally making it to preschool on time!)  Weren’t we just talking about apples on the trees and making book bags?  As I dropped the kids off this morning, I got a little choked up thinking about how far we have come from our first days at preschool a few years ago, when we all had tears.  Now my oldest is learning to read and sends me off with a smile.  My husband helped me to realize something important.  He said, “Time flies when you are having fun, but can feel interminable when things are not going well.”

This week we also celebrate our ninth anniversary of being married.

Had I known how important the choice of a partner is at the time of making this choice, I would probably still be single.  That is not to say I wasn’t focused on finding love in my twenties.  I was.  But, that had more to do with a happily-ever-after fantasy and an idea that my life was moving forward.  I wasn’t truly envisioning life together for the next 75 years.  Washing dishes, watching sunsets, raising children, drinking wine, and sitting on the couch together.  When we chose to be together it was more like the Bruno Mars song, Marry You.  “Its a beautiful night, we’re looking for something dumb to do… Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you!”  When Gus proposed to me in the waves at Hapuna Beach on the Big Island, I said to myself, “I’m in love with this guy!  Of course I’ll marry him… Why not?!?”

I would chalk up finding my great partner to luck and timing.  My husband sometimes reminds me (in jest), that I “shot the moon” when I met him.  But, he is correct.  I did shoot the moon.  And, so did he.  We are well-matched.  We are not alike in everything, but rather challenge each other to think about life in different ways.  We work on our differing communication styles daily!  I believe that there might be other people in the world that we could have ended up with, but our timing worked.  We were ready to meet one another.  We have mapped our lives previous to meeting and strangely enough (having grown up on opposite coasts) there are at least three other times we could have met.  We both agree we probably wouldn’t have fallen in love had we met at those other times.  Luck and timing.

I’m probably not the first to tell you this, but marriage is work.  It is negotiation and compromise.  But, it is also the most wonderful thing to have a “great partner in life”.  In my toast to my husband at our rehearsal dinner, I described the feeling of being with him, as “coming home.”  Thankfully, that feels more true today than it did nine years ago.  He is my best friend and the first and last person I want to talk to each day.  Everyone has their own criteria for love, whether we really know what we are looking for or not.  I don’t think either of us really understood the big decision we were stepping into – I think young couples rarely do.  It is a choice of faith and hope and a bit of luck as well.

I feel supremely lucky to have found a great partner to share all these moments with and I cannot believe that nine years have gone by so quickly.  If we weren’t happy (most of the time), nine years or nine months might just feel like a lifetime!

SCAN0011SCAN0009  SCAN0012 SCAN0014

Life Lessons on the Playground

The topic of “love” is current in our house again.  You may remember last year when the boys were starting school in the Fall that marriage and friendship were topics of conversation.  Throughout the year, we have continued to talk about what makes someone an attractive partner; whether it is more important for a friend to be kind, play with you at outdoor time, or laugh at all your jokes.  A first kiss has transpired.  You will be happy to know that no official proposals have been made though.  The kids have continued to get to know one another and the families are being introduced at this point.  Thankfully, Sam took my advice that no quick decisions needed to be made in the area of marriage.  But, there is a new twist on “love” that has gotten me thinking again.

The singer, P!nk, has come out with a new song called “Just Give Me a Reason”.  Side note:  You should know, I am a enamored with P!nk.  I love that she exudes female strength and many of her songs speak to confidence and self respect (and she is currently my favorite artist to run to).  “Just Give Me a Reason” is a song that I enjoy and happily the Top 40 radio stations agree with me, as they play it all the time.  I’ll let you in on a little secret, when we are driving around, and need a break from Caspar Babypants, the kids and I sing along to popular hits.  Historically, it is the random lyric that makes my eldest ask a question regarding the meaning of a particular song (but it doesn’t happen all that often).  The other day Sam said to me, “What does that mean?  Why are they learning to love again?”  At first, I had no idea what he was talking about, but then I realized his question was tied to this particular song.  Concurrently, I realized that this will be a new concept for him.  The idea that love might not last forever and that it might also cause hurt and pain.  For adults, this reality stares us in the face all the time, but for my children this tough lesson has yet to be learned.  A fact I am pretty darn happy about.  I told him I would have to think about how to answer his question and began puzzling over how to explain this concept to a 5-year old.

My son has tried the monkey bars at different points in his short life and they have always been appropriately tough.  After attempting those vexing bars at the park, we typically move on to playing on the slide, climbing, or trying the swings.  Then, one day I got a call.  Sam had successfully traversed the monkey bars!  He was with his grandmother and his voice was bursting with pride – like riding a bike with no training wheels kind of pride!  He was so excited.  On the next sunny day, he couldn’t wait to show off his new skill, but sadly, that day, it didn’t work.  Whether he was tired, the bars were slippery, or the moon was in the wrong phase…who knows why, he couldn’t do it again.  He tried, and tried, and tried.  In one of his failed attempts, Sam even fell and hurt his knee.  But, he got up and tried again.  He has a scar that will stay with him for awhile from all his repeated efforts.  At the time he was pretty distraught, but as we left the park that day, he told us that he had done it before and would try again.  As a parent, that is when I felt proud.  Not after his success (although I was happy for him), but after he failed and knew he would try again.  To this day I have not seen him successfully get across those darn monkey bars, but I remember the happiness in his voice after that first time.

The lyrics of “Just Give Me a Reason” go like this:

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just a second we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It’s in the stars
It’s been written in the scars on our hearts
We’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

Continue reading http://www.songonlyrics.com/pink-just-give-me-a-reason-lyrics#ixzz2UE103xHG

The fact that we all have scars is universal.  The fact that we can choose to “try again” is what is so beautiful to me in this song.  We’re not broken, just bent.  We have all been hurt by things, whether it is a broken heart from love, or from attempting the monkey bars.  To have been hurt by something, and to be willing to try again is what makes us illogically human.  To hold the hope that the next time we might experience a different result… Someday, I hope to be lucky enough to watch my kids get their hearts broken by love.  Obviously their hurt is not something I will relish, but the knowledge that they are putting themselves out in the world to be vulnerable to life is what I look forward to witnessing.  I hope to teach them that risks are worth taking and to know that some of the time they will succeed in finding what they are striving for.

Summer is coming and we will have plenty of sunny days to visit the park practice and our monkey bar skills.  There may be some skinned knees along the way, but I am confident that by September, this will be a skill that Sam can feel proud of and he will have the scars to prove it.

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