Saturday, August 15, 2009

Road trip of life

I think this is going to be my best decade yet. I like my 30s. The external stuff in my life is calm (my whole family is here now, I'm ecstatic about spending the rest of my life with Steve, and we will be in Virginia Beach forever). The minutiae of it isn't always calm (there's food dumped on my kitchen floor, laundry piled up to be folded, and the boys' room looks like a natural disaster hit a toy store). But this segment of life rocks.

I have now been teaching 10 years. TEN YEARS. That I've done anything professionally for 10 years seems too stable to make sense. I feel really, really good about what I do and how I do it. I love teaching. I love connecting with students. And all the "learning curve" stuff has dissipated into just perfecting my process. Being skilled at something makes it seem like a hobby, not a job. Oh yes...and the pay is nice too.

I love my parenting path. I don't always parent how I want, but I know HOW I want to parent, and that's a good feeling. I've found my groove. I've got my short list of mantras I have to repeat daily: "I need to be the person I want my child to become"..."I can only control my actions, not theirs"...and "Take the long-view...they grow up so fast." They are on repeat most days, and sometimes I ignore my own mantras...but I know where I WANT to be. In the beginning, with Jack, there were more unanswered variables. I was making decisions based on each situation, instead of just focusing on the Bigger Picture. That in the end, how I act and who I am is what will matter. Focus on being the best person I can be internally, and those things will shape my child, regardless of my decisions. Oh, which brings up my last mantra: "You can never fool your child." That's a biggie.

We'll see how it goes. ;)

I've determined that the ONLY hair color I can wear is blonde. Period. The last time I saw my mom, before the final visit at the hospital, she said: "You'll always be a blonde to me." And it was decided. No more reds, blacks, browns, purples, whatever. Blonde.

I "get" Steve. He gets me. And when we fight now, it's about life stressors...too little sleep, too much junk food, too busy, not busy enough...not about core stuff. We've managed to fit our evolutions in life like zippers...they just keep finding the next groove together. It's awe-inspiring really. Our decisions about God, parenting, priorities, finances, etc...have settled into this comfortable groove of connection. I'm not sure how that happened, other than that he's the perfect mate for my life, in a way that can only be divine intervention. It's too perfect. The people we are now aren't the ones who married way-back-when...but we're still the complement the other one needs.

It's odd sometimes, as we stand across the room from each other, each holding a crying child, and we look at each other and just smile. Wonderment about the oddity of our life right now (the poop, the crying, the laundry piles)...knowing that we're creating this messy-chaotic life that sprung from falling in love with each other. So much of dating (okay, ALL of dating) has nothing to do with what real life and marriage looks like. And yet, I have never loved this man more than this very moment, entrenched in a very non-romantic stage of marriage. It's really amazing to be co-navigating the chaos with one of the most incredible minds I've ever known. And knowing that the same brilliant, kind, loving man is parenting my children just rocks my world.

In some ways, my 30s feels like a road trip, and my 20s were the packing up and loading the car. Knowing that everything is here, all the variables are in place, makes it feel really good to slam the car door shut and say: "Let's go!" The excitement about what's ahead. The triumph of preparation. I'm ready.

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