Wednesday, February 25, 2015

fasten your seat belts, kiddies

We are marriage mentors at our church. [Insert laugh here]. This means that sweet, unsuspecting engaged couples come into our home to meet with us six times before they get married to talk about all sorts of Things.  We are supposed to facilitate Open Communication and guide them through a range of topics so that once they are under one roof, they can navigate potential issues and misunderstandings with ease.

Confession: I feel like an imposter.

I mean I'm not really -- we've actually been happily married  for 11 years and added three children along the way. But we aren't really wise sage-types with decades of experience. Also we are drowning in massively enjoying "little kid" mode, which looks sweet and adorable when you are 23 and engaged and wishing to just stay home and raise babies as a vocation.  But when you are 34 and staying home and raising those babies it looks a teeny bit different. 


Valentine's Day came and went a couple weeks ago.  We were both nodding off when this conversation occurred:

Me: Hey today was Valentine's Day.
Hubs: I know. It was pretty awesome.
Me: Should we tell our cute little couple what Valentine's Day will be like for them in 10-15 years? Like how I am recovering from sinus surgery with two black-ish eyes and a swollen face and all hopped up and useless on pain meds and I have a bed buddy on my back because it hurts from carrying a 20-pound baby in a carseat and you can't work out because you "tweaked" your back bending over to pick something up from the coffee table and how we are not even ashamed anymore to be excited about going to sleep at 9:00 pm? 
Hubs: We shouldn't kill their dreams.
Me: (snoring because I already fell asleep and I am mouth-breathing after surgery)

Ah, romance.

I have compiled a short list of things we will not bring up during our sessions.

1. Sharing a bathroom with someone of the opposite sex is like navigating a minefield of completely unfamiliar and sometimes dry-heave-disgusting things. And before you saddle up on that high horse ladies, let's be honest--this goes both ways. I will not elaborate further.

2. Your Friday night dinner dates will probably at some point become more like the traveling circus, complete with little people, the fat [baby]lady, and people putting amazing and sometimes dangerous items in their mouths that were NEVER MEANT TO GO THERE FOR THE LOVE. In our time this has also included acrobatics such as eating dinner while standing and bouncing an infant, as well as too many people exiting a small car in the parking lot.

3. There will be times when, well, this:
August 4, 2011 FB Status
This pretty much sums up my day: I'm wearing the same shirt I slept in and it's covered in spit up. Middle Child is in his fourth outfit not counting pajamas. And The All Knowing First Grader (three years old at the time) is sobbing in her room because I won't let her put her finger in a pencil sharpener. 

4. While you will gain the invaluable gift of having someone who will (hopefully) always tell you the truth, sometimes the truth can be painful.  One time The All-Knowing First Grader and I were playing "Who Am I?" and her clue was, "I am someone who is kinda old and who has long brown hair that is always in a ponytail." And guess who that was? Better yet, guess who told me she wasn't wrong?

BUT, all this mess plus the one million things I would never actually put in writing get you here, which makes it more than worth the trouble:

You will, indeed, find ways to escape and have adult conversations and watch whole movies at a time and sleep all night and go to the gym and a fancy restaurant and try on clothes in a dressing room without a small audience get the picture. But when two become one, typically two become more like four or five, which means you are bound to be in for a bumpy ride sometimes.

We will not mention these things to our precious couple.  They will figure them out.  Then they will practice the tried and true ritual of calling their married friends/friends with kids/their suddenly genious parents and saying, "Why didn't you tell me...?" And those people will chuckle and tell them the truth, "You never would have believed me."

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