There was a long stretch of time in which our house was a lot more yelling than it was love. There was a long stretch of time I felt I was reliving my childhood in the worst way and I could see in your eyes the worry and concern and worst of all, I felt like you were both responding so poorly. You could feel the pressure and we were teaching you the opposite of a supportive team. Bella, we almost lost you during this time. You were full of rage and anger yourself and we could not just talk to you. Monkey, your emotions could not handle it. You were too young to say anything but you made sure we knew how uncomfortable this was for you.
And then I remembered why and how we work. How and why we need each other and the one thing we never let go of, and that is being partners.
Lovies, this...life, doing, being, adulting, it is all really really hard. And, neither I nor dad could do any of the things that we do unless we had each other to lean on and lean on hard. We don't only need each other, we rely on one another in a really special way. I hope you see and recognize that.
I do hope that you remember for the first ten years of parenting, Dad was your morning jam because mom was already at work. And for so many years, mom started her day at 4am so she can be with you starting at 4 or 5 pm. Whenever I dropped a ball, dad picked it up.
I hope you remember that Dad's coaching schedule kept him away at night for 6 months out of the year. Where ever you needed to be, whatever classes you were in, dinner, homework, activities, that was all me. Whenever he dropped a ball, I picked it up.
But, it took me a very long time to get here. See, for the first few years of our marriage, I was so determined to not be "the housewife". The only one that knew where things existed in our home, the only one that cleaned or cleaned up. Because of my fear of recreating where I came from, it took me WAY longer than dad to realize what our partnership looks like. It took me way longer to realize that it's okay that we each have our place and our groove and if I do something better or if it means more to me, I should just do it. It took me years to realize that I needed to put my resentment of my past away and not put that on him. And then, there's the concept of 50/50.
There is no such thing loves and never has that defined a partnership. The reason this works is because I drop and he picks up and vise versa. And most times, that means we are looking more like 90/10. Even though we each have our "areas" that does not mean we let them fall down when the other just can't pick them up.
Partnership means having really hard conversations. I don't like how we are parenting here, I need this part of our life to change, this part isn't working. Really listening to each other and knowing we each are carrying baggage to our trip as a family. Some bags are way heavier than others but even the light ones need to be unpacked.
Partnership means arguments, anger, sticking it out, coming back, realizing what's important, moving forward, taking steps back, being uncomfortable and comfortable and safe. Being a good person to each other.
Partnership means sticking by the other when they are diagnosed forever sick. Partnership means not judging each other when you are trying to figure something out and it's taking too long. Partnership means doing what needs to be done for your team...your family.
Okay, it took mom longer. I was terrified of the fog years. I was so worried about all of us. But I got there. Because a true partner doesn't run when things are tough, they show up.