the anniversary

It has been quite some time since my husband and I went out alone.

In fact, I think it was not the last anniversary, but the one before that where we went out alone. The night went smoothly and instead of collapsing in throws of passion on the bed when we got home....we just passed out.

The next day, my stepmother complained loudly about having to have watched the children (I have never really asked her before and now will never ask her again), which has always been my biggest fear was to foist my children upon someone as if they were a burden. I love my kids, and they are KIDS....they are not destructive (mostly), they are not rude or talk ugly. They just are kids, and they like attention. However, there are many in this world that are not 'kid people' and there are even more that have had children, went through the long haul, and as they get older, their patience and temperament sour (my parents).

So this year, with a gaggle of clan, I thought that if such a situation occurred, that they might be able as a group effort to herd the children for a few hours on my anniversary. Unfortunately, the brunt fell on one person who rose admirably to the occasion (although she is contemplating if she really wants kids).

I know what it sounds like. It sounds like my kids are brats. They're not. They're highly intelligent, they're pretty well behaved and they are curiously bright. The six year old is the top of her year class in reading, in so far as she is the first 1st grader on their Advanced Reader program and is reading at a third grade level. My eldest, who is 10 (almost 11), is part of the GT program, in the top echelons of her AR program, and was just invited to a leadership conference at the college. Smart kids. But kids have a lot of questions and need a lot of attention. They really take selfless individuals to give them what they need, and not dissing anyone, unless you have the responsibility of the well-being of another human and take that responsibility seriously, you have no idea how selfish you really are.

But beyond that....we actually get to go out. Wow.

We're in the car, and the conversation is as follows.

"So....where do we go?"

"I dunno. Where do you want to go?"

Ack. So, what do I do? I'm a shopaholic - I take him window-shopping. We go to several places, trying desperately hard not to talk about anyone or the family within the scope of our conversation. We go shoot pool. We go play putt-putt (the course was fairly uninteresting, save for the water hazards). We go out to a nice dinner (and I admit, that after 12 years of marriage, I am just not learning that although my husband hates cheesecake, the one and only cheesecake he will eat is key lime pie....which would have helped oh, I dunno, 12 years ago to know...) and then, out of fairness, go shopping for a few things for the household. I call the sitter, asking if she needs anything, and she informs me she's bought it all, don't worry, just come home. So we do. And we marvel to each other about how of recent, we might see each other outside of laying in bed five hours in a week...and we just got to spend an entire day together.

And the house is completely empty.

Now, for someone who is used to a full house, this is almost kind of dejecting. But we take it in stride, snuggle up and watch a cartoon (anime is STILL just a cartoon), awaiting people to come home.

Now, let me go back a bit. We're doing the window-shopping thing, and talking about the things that we like, what we'd allow in our home and what we wouldn't (we both have differing tastes in decor) and what we could compromise on. I would pick something up, then put it down, he would keep his hands in his pockets.

And he knows I'm a shopaholic.

So he asks at one point when I'm holding something, "Would you like that for your anniversary?"

Absent-mindedly, I set it down. "No...not really."

He cocks his head to the side, waiting for a response.

"I just....don't really see anything I can't live without. Or that I'm dying to have. Really...Some of it is nice, but it's really all just junk. I don't NEED any of it."

I thought he was going to fall out.

I'm just coming closer and closer to the realization of who I am, I think. I mean, it's something we constantly work on. But a lot of the time, no matter how expensive, when I buy something, I really just wind up giving it away to someone who seems overjoyed to get it. The stuff doesn't really matter to me. And the stuff that I DO keep, well, I realize that I'm not just wanting to keep it...I'm actually 'holding it' for someone else. Like the girls have some very beautiful handmade things, sewing and crafting, from old pagan friends which I have lost track of. But they are delicate, some of them, and to give them over now would probably sign their death warrants. So, I have them put away (I really could use hope chests for them) for them when they get grown and move off.

Silly, isn't it? But I realize my stuff isn't mine, it's in holding for someone else. At least, most of it.

Anyway...beyond my rambling, there's two points in there. Promise. The first is that no matter how long you are with someone, you still will not now everything there is to know about them (and my anniversary was the 16th...I've been marred 12 years now). And...now matter how long you're alive, you're always constantly going through self-discovery.

Yeah, this is a badly worded blog. But valid points.

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