There are many things I wish for my children’s futures. Health, happiness, a fulfilling role, whether that be as a parent, or in a job they love, are some of the obvious ones. I want them to find their passions and find the time to engage in their passions. I hope that we have instilled in them good values. I hope they will treat others with respect. I hope they will treat themselves with respect. And I hope they remain close to us emotionally, well, honestly my hope is they stay close by physically too. I hope they always know they can talk to us, laugh with us, cry with us and rely on us. I hope they always feel secure in our child parent partnership.
There is one thing that I hope for my children that will be the foundation for all else in their lives. And that is a love like I have with their father. I grew up with one parent. My father died when I was five years old. My mother never dated and has remained completely true to my dad still, even after all these years. I really didn’t have much of a role model for what a parent partnership should look like. Many of my mom’s friends were also widows and the friends’ homes where I spent a lot of time didn’t really have the best 2 parent relationship role models. I have a hard time sharing my opinion with people and live in constant fear of upsetting others by saying what I think. So when I found myself dating I learned to not share things because it was just easier. I was scared of arguments within a relationship so I made sure there were none. I allowed myself to be bullied and mistreated in this process and really did not think too much of it. Then, I met this skinny punk rocker named Kevin. When I entered into the relationship I thought it was just for fun. He is 4 years younger than I am and had just turned 18. We shared a lot in common, a love of toys, tv, punk music, playing with kids. It was fun and slowly I started to see there was more there than I thought. We began to talk beyond the fun stuff, to talk religion, diverse music, history, life. This guy was the smartest person I had ever met. He took interest in things I loved- Sign Language, Deaf Culture, Theater. Things were still fun, but there was so much more.
Just a few years into our relationship I began to have a little Deaf girl live with me part time. Kevin loved her and took care of her, learned to sign, treated her like she was, and still is part of our family.
We got engaged, we got married. Our napkins said “today I marry my best friend”. Truer words were never spoken. He was at that time my best friend. Of course, I loved him. I wanted to spend forever with him. But the most important thing to me, was that day, I was marrying my best friend. Shortly after marrying we started a family. In my head I thought we would be just another normal family, but after our son was born I soon saw we were doing nothing “normal”. But it was ok. This best friend of mine had given me the strength to be myself. We could argue, we could disagree. And it was ok, actually it was necessary because Kevin LOVES to argue. With this best friend by my side I have become myself. My hippie, homesteading, attachment parenting self. I didn’t set out to be that person, though, I was headed there when I was younger. He didn’t set out to be that person either, but that is who he has become as well. He doesn’t just support my choices for our family. He is an active part in them. We share philosophies for parenting, and for life.
I have many friends, but very few close friends. I have struggled with that typical “bff” relationship that seems so prevalent in our society. For a long time it bothered me, why didn’t I have a girlfriend that was my BFF? What was I doing wrong? Then, I started to pay attention to my friends and what they were saying when we were together and discovered why. I consider myself a good friend, I am always there for people, but I don’t need to run to the phone to call a girlfriend when something good happens, or when something bad happens, or just to chat, because that role is already filled.
They tell you that the passion will fade, so it is important to marry someone who is your friend. And I believe that can be true. That fairy tale love that many feel when they are dating, or getting married, that probably does fade and if that is what your relationship was based on, then indeed there will be trouble. But, I will argue, that isn’t always the case. For me, as I have become more of who I am, as I have grown as a person, as a wife, and as a mother I have experienced something different. I have watched my husband grow and change in the same ways and I have fallen more deeply in love with this man I call my partner. There is still passion. It doesn’t happen every day, our love is not new, but there are days when my heart beats faster when he walks in the room. Times when he looks at me and the smile on my face and the sparkle in my eyes feel fairy tale worthy.
To our children, I wish for you courage to choose to live how you want to. I wish you health, and happiness. And I wish for you love. Long lasting love, strong love. Love that happens with your best friend and partner. A love like I have with your Dad.