Next week, it is our wedding anniversary. 24 years! It sounds very mature, and a bit old and crinkly. It sounds SETTLED and COMFORTABLE and ROUTINE. And whilst I don’t feel old and crinkly, we are settled and comfortable and routine. We know who looks after what; we love it when an evening out is over by 9.30pm so we can change into daggy clothes or dressing gown (that’s me!) and settle in for TV viewing, tea or Milo in hand. With kids, life is necessarily routine as days and months arrange themselves around feeds and sleeps, short attention spans, kinder and school timetables and out of school activities. Holiday locations and durations fall into a pattern and employment decisions are made to achieve particular outcomes.
It’s both a long time and a short time raising kiddies. When they are born the years stretch out before you. The demands of parenthood suck out so much time and energy from your relationship as a couple. You are consumed by their physical, emotional and intellectual growth. Time together is limited. But little bit by little, moments to be a twosome return. Perhaps it is a date night whilst you leave them with a babysitter, then maybe a coffee together when they are old enough to stay at home unsupervised, and then as they grow older still and head out themselves, more windows of time open. And now, it seems, for us, that all of a sudden, those long days are gone. As our kiddies reach adulthood, we are, as my man eloquently puts it, almost “off the leash”! It’s kinda nice!
And so, taking advantage of our newfound independence, we headed up to Bendigo for a couple of nights away as an early anniversary present to ourselves. It was, at the risk of sounding OLD, quite lovely! The weather was perfect -sunny and warm with just the hint of a cooling breeze. We walked around Lake Weeroona, visited the gallery and read our books in the very beautiful Rosalind Park. We ate a delicious meal at The Depository and my man fell in love with the Pedro Ximenez he had with dessert. I heard its virtues mentioned many times over the weekend and a bottle now sits in our fridge! We drank coffee, read the papers and watched the tennis on TV. We didn’t have to worry about being anywhere for anyone at any particular time.
And we enjoyed being with each other. BONUS! It’s not always easy living with someone, is it? I know I haven’t always been a barrel of laughs to live with and there’s times I haven’t liked his thinking or decisions. There are stresses and strains as life unfolds – it can throw in some pretty yucky times which you have to navigate together. But navigate them we have. We’ve both changed since we were newly weds but we’ve managed to change together. We still like each other. I think I’ll keep him!