The New Beginning
In two weeks Big D will be off to college. I have gone back and forth between scared shitless and so excited for him I could scream. I have noticed that more and more I am in the excited camp. The scared part was because so many people say that when a kid goes off to college, the parents look at each other and think “who are you?”, and then they get divorced. You spend so much time nurturing this child, sometimes you forget to nurture each other. Thankfully, D and I have always nurtured each other. But this past year was hard. And when I say hard, I mean HARD.
Big D threw us for a loop for the entire school year. He stopped doing homework. He nearly failed 3 classes (all of the online ones). He was lying. He was depressed and anxious. All after being a very happy, straight-A student his entire life. It scared us. We didn’t know who he was anymore. We fought with him and with each other. We were stressed out and on the brink of sanity. We all attended therapy separately and slowly we saw a change in him. Then we would find out about something he did or didn’t do, and we felt like we were back at square one. It was so stressful that my body was showing the signs. I stopped eating for a week during the thick of it. I cried non-stop. I couldn’t sleep. Then the chest pains began, and persisted. After about a month (yes, I waited a month – there was too much else going on to focus on me), I went and had an EKG. Everything was thankfully fine, but the pain I was experiencing was a symptom of fibromyalgia. I was 20 when I was diagnosed with it. For a lot of people it is debilitating – and it was for me in the beginning- but now I don’t have any ill effects from it, other than being overly sensitive to rough touch. So this chest pain symptom was scary. My doctor wanted to put me on meds. I said no. I asked if the symptom would go away with less stress, better diet and exercise, and she said yes. Once the stress cleared, so did the pain. It still comes back once in a while, but I know what it is, so it doesn’t scare me.
When graduation finally arrived and we were able to say for sure that he would make it, all of the stress, anger, fear and resentment melted away. A few days later, he wrote us a note about how much he loves us, and that he was sorry for the past year. He didn’t know why he acted the way he did. He was just so miserable in high school. We were very touched and will definitely keep that note! Since that day we have been seeing more and more of the Big D we know and love emerge. He is back to his old self again, and I could not be more grateful.
Going through all of this, I never once thought of giving up. I never once thought of leaving. D and I realized that we were snapping at each other because of the stress and we tried not to do that anymore. We grew stronger and closer instead of growing apart. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always roses and puppies. But one thing I truly love about us is that we have always been able to recognize when outside stress is making us angry at each other, and we correct it.
This past week off together made me realize just how much I love her, and I know we can and will make it through every obstacle together. We mostly had a staycation, but we did go away for the day to a nearby lake. It’s about an hour from our house. Big D was going to go with us, but decided at the last minute that he didn’t want to, so D and I had a date day 🙂 We walked along the water, we went into the shops, we bought some tee shirts, we ate pizza (and I ordered a cheese calzone to bring home), we played in the arcade like kids, we checked out the local motels, and we ate ice cream on the edge of the water. Too bad it was so hot that we could only eat half each, as it melted too fast – but it was delicious! It was an amazing low-key outing and really made me feel connected to her.
The rest of the week was spent swimming, relaxing, eating, etc. My favorite day of the week (besides when we went to the lake) was this past Saturday. It was HOT. So hot that swimming didn’t cool you down. We did swim for a while, but then went inside. Our living room was 90 degrees. We could not get it to cool down, and I refused to put an AC in this late in the season. We do have AC’s in the bedrooms, and Big D was already enjoying his. We turned ours on, got a bunch of pillows out, put blankets over the windows to block out the sun and just camped out watching movies together. It was glorious! At one point I laid on my stomach with my head at the bottom of the bed while she was sitting with her back against the wall at the head of it. She kept reaching over and rubbing my leg (in a loving way – not a sexual one) and we kept telling each other how much we love each other. It’s the little things that really matter.
We keep talking about what life will be like when Big D is gone. We are excited to start this new chapter together. We have never been “just us”. I cannot wait. We have talked about the positive direction our life is going in, and the changes that can be made to make it even better. The number one thing is that we have been together 8 1/2 years, parented a child together, and have come out of the other side more in love than ever.
It’s times like this when I cannot understand the bigots out there who think we shouldn’t be allowed to have this love. Everyone should be allowed to have it. Everyone should get a chance to experience this beautiful, precious gift.
The main reason for this post? I guess just to say how much I love my wife! Honey, you are the world to me. You are my best friend and my soul mate. I love you!