So we're doing better now.
One more argument finally led to some disclosures, and it became clear that we needed some one-on-one time together.
It's so much easier when quality time happens organically, but given our states of mind lately, that wasn't happening. So I found a couple of hours where it could just be the two of us, and we could talk.
We share a love of Starbucks so we started there. It was a lovely day, and we picked a spot outside to bask in the sun, and took advantage of the peaceful setting for a civilized conversation. We were able to speak from our hearts and make a few tiny steps in a new direction.
With the air cleared, we did some window shopping and just talked about nothing. We made each other laugh, and we both felt like ourselves again; felt like us again.
I was reminded that this time is a marathon; there will continue to be ups and downs, but, as they say in one of my favorite songs from Avenue Q, "everything in life is only for now."
I'll enjoy this upswing for as long as it lasts, and try and find some reserves in my energy for the next challenge.
For a few years now, I've enjoyed some respite from the constant exhaustion that came with having little ones: running alongside them, trying to clear every hint of danger from their paths. This journey of having teens is a different kind of exhaustion. I can't give guidance by merely swooping them up and averting it for them, but to hope that the tools I've given them are enough that they can avert the dangers themselves...while still maintaining enough parental control to step in when necessary. And most of all, understanding the difference.
In the past few weeks, I have questioned every parental choice I've made throughout her life. And I hate playing coulda, woulda, shoulda. I wonder about everyone I see, what was their upbringing like? How much credit do their parents deserve for how happy or unhappy they are with their lives today?
I'm sure if I asked a dozen, I'd get as many different answers.
So back to basking in the sun for what there is to appreciate about today. A little laughter, a moment of us, and lots more coffee.