It seems like forever since I last sat at a computer to write. I haven’t had much “me time” over the past year. But again, when you have 6 kids, “Me time” is redefined.
My family moved, again, and hopefully we can stay put for a while. We have been in this house since April and I will say, although not the house I think my husband and I dreamed of, this will fit our family for a long while and I love that. I often times sit outside with a cup of coffee, staring at the mountains, the sounds of my kids in the background and feel content. True content. That’s a pretty powerful feeling. Like all of the puzzle pieces are starting to form the picture……
Our picture has changed over the years, the past 17 years of marriage (21 years of couple-hood) , my husband and I have lived in 6 different homes (7 if you count the apartment I had the year before we got married and commuted to our shared home on weekends)…. twice we were in my Mother’s home in transitional times.
We went from one child, to three….now six. It’s sometimes overwhelming. If you would’ve had told me 17 years ago that this would be my life, I would think you were lying.
In adoption class they used to say, if you have any problems that you have not yet confronted, fixed, discussed…..whether it be in your childhood, marriage or personal demons, the adoption process will find it and magnify it…..
I ignored this.
Over the past month I have been slapped in the face with how true this warning was.
First…..my father. I have written about him in the past, his escape from responsibilities, leaving my mom and his kids because that wasn’t the life he wanted. Only to fall into the exact life he had, with different people. New wife, new kids. He’s now going through another divorce and after 12 years of being out of my life completely, he’s back. He wanted to rid his regrets, claim back his role as father and I am cautiously allowing him in. I know that had I not just gone through the process of adopting the littles, he would not be welcomed. But with life comes small lessons, acceptance and forgiving and my gift of witnessing such change in my littles’ lives, their story of horrible loss and pain, brought them to our family. The experience of me becoming their mom has changed me. In a way I never expected and am not sure I can articulate. What I can say is that nothing can change the hurt my father caused, the years lost, the tears shed…..but he’s my father and nothing can change that role. And while I am protected of how much I allow myself to trust in this relationship, I will never have the burden of wondering. Wondering if he would see how amazing his first three grandsons had become. Wondering if he would ever meet his new grand kids. Wonder if he would ever see the success my husband and I would become and the incredible life we share.
Incredible……our marriage. My biggest joy is my husband and my biggest fear is losing him. Lately I have had some regrets in our marriage. One was not listening to the advice of putting your marriage before your kids. Anyone who is a parent knows how hard this is. Over the past two years, during the adoption process…. my husband and I began jobs that would shape our careers, give financial stability for our future and in return, ripped each other away from our marriage. We focused on the “Bigs”, making sure they were not negatively affected by the adoption and focused on repairing the lives of our “Littles”. My husband has always suffered in silence. Not letting anyone in, not being able to ask for help and not able to share in his pain. Lately I have seen my husband become more distant, from not only me, from his kids, from his role in the family, from the life we created. I’ve seen this behavior before, once after his mother came back into his life, through disappointment of jobs, after the birth of our twins (and the financial struggles three kids under two overwhelmed him), before the move to another state……and now. I’ve been able to talk to him, to verbally knock him back to reality, to love hard and this time I think I forgot that my role was not only to be his wife, be the mother of his kids, be a financial contributor….I forgot how to be his friend. And he forgot how to be mine. I forgot I needed to help him back up….this time I didn’t even notice he was down. I was so busy fixing things at work, making my mark in my career, being a mother to six very different children and fostering their individuality, that I forgot about him. I forgot what it was like to focus on our marriage. I became subconsciously bitter….directed it towards him. I missed him. I missed us and I was internally screaming for him to be back in the role of my friend….lover…..husband. While externally screaming to get him to notice me in mundane trivial ways. I wonder how to erase the hurt and move towards the wonder. Move towards to greatness. Move back to content. I am proud of our lives we created together, the love we shared can’t be over? He says it is. He says he doesnt know why….he just does. I wonder? I wonder if I were prettier if he would stay? I wondered if I helped him more if he would still love me. I wonder if he really ever loved me at all? I don’t yell….I don’t restrict……I’m just me. Big, loving me. What could I do…….I wonder……