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I remember before our daughter was born, my wife would become upset and, well, complain that she would not be a good mother… she was Very far off. She is an amazing mother. She is an even better wife, as soon as she realizes that it’s normal for spouses to have fights from time to time and things do not have to be (and probably will never be) perfect.

We decided to go away and visit her family up in Maine. Her family is great, in their way, and we love them, but my wife has changed so much from when she was younger.

She is now seeing all the things she had to deal with as a child and is not going to allow our daughter to have to deal with those same things. And I am glad because the things her parents hold near and dear to them and how they think kids should act are FAR different from how I was brought up.

Growing up, my parents did have the signature late-60’s 70’s era plastic on the couches, but we were allowed to play on the couches. I remember they had these round pillows that were as long as the arm rest and my brother and I would use them as punching bags and make tons of noise. As long as no one was crying and mom could sleep or talk on the phone, then it was all fine.

My wife was not allowed in her living room unless she was practicing on the piano.

Both of us agree that we will not have any rooms off limits to our kids.

Before we set everything up, they told us that if we wanted to go catch a movie one night they would be happy to watch our daughter for a couple of hours, but they changed their minds the moment we arrived, which is fine, we just take our daughter with us on our adventures such as going to Moose cave and Screw Auger Falls (who names a water fall Screw Auger?)

But then we did get a little grief because our cell phones batteries die fast up here in Maine for some reason. (Most likely because there is no service so they are ALWAYS looking for a connection) Back home my cell battery lasts about 5-7 days before I need to charge it, up here, it was fully charged when I went to bed and was beeping early this morning because the battery was dying.

So at 31 years old she is still worried and stressed that she needs to call her parents if we are running late.

I know growing up, if I was late for dinner my mother would throw a fit. I did not see the big deal. If I was late, it was up to me to make myself something to eat or just reheat dinner, but to my mom it was an atrocity. I knew back then that I would not be that way with my kids. If they are late, then they have to figure out dinner.

We learn from our parents, but as adults we have the ability to pick and choose what we want and don’t want to instill in our children. The old saying is not completely true – we don’t all grow up to be our parents.

This trip has shown my wife many things for her and to me that she has changed so much from when we first met.

We are also learning that making our own rules for OUR family is good, and as it should be.

Will we still come up and visit my in-laws? Absolutely! We just won’t stay with them at their house. We will find a place elsewhere to stay so the kids can be as loud and obnoxious as their father as they want to be! This way we can go out at 9pm or 10pm to do something like get ice cream and not worry about upsetting anyone or waking anyone up when we come back in.

Hopefully by next trip they will want to hold our daughter more and be more “hands on” with her. If not, that’s ok. We won’t mind but I know from how things were with my grandmother that they will be missing out on a LOT of things.

But for now, I am the luckiest guy in the world because I am married to the most awesome woman in the world and next week will be our 2nd anniversary together. It’s only been 2 years so far but I look forward to all the years to come!

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