Life-long marriage is a gift you give your children.

Years ago my husband and I went and saw Adrian Belew from King Crimson play a solo acoustic concert at the Majestic Theater in Detroit.  One of my favorite songs he played was Old Fat Cadillac:

Philip and I were reminiscing about that concert late this evening out on the porch under a full moon.  Both of us are audiophiles – it was one of the first things that drew us to one another beyond just physical attraction all those years ago, just before my twenty-second birthday, and we’ve seen many, many concerts and shows together over the years, giving us fun memories to share...”Remember when we saw Elvis Costello at the Fox and the security guards let us move from the balcony to the front row because we were the only ones dancing?…Remember that time we saw the Dave Brubeck Quartet downtown at the Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival?…Remember how much fun we had dancing all night at Frog Island when Buckwheat Zydeco played and then Terrance Simien showed him up?  Remember when…remember when?

Our children love, love, love to hear about the time before they were born, when these two people they call mom and dad were actually young and crazy and romantic and fun.  They can hardly believe it but they love to hear about it.  They will say to me, “Daddy says one time you guys saw the Grateful Dead in Chicago and someone stole your shoes and you had to go to the show the next night with bare feet.  Mom, is that true?”  They are filled with amazement that this person who is always barking commands and warnings about tedious things at them – Brush your teeth! Make your bed! Take your vitamins! Don’t do that foolish thing you were about to do! – used to dance barefoot, eyes closed, transported away by the pure joy of the music.  But I suspect they are also glad we aren’t still those people now.  Children need their parents to be grown ups.

Yet I think it is comforting to children to hear that their parents loved each other, loved just being together, loved having adventures and making a life together, before they ever had children and Serious Jobs and mortgage payments and greying hair.  I’m glad we can give that gift to our kids and that we can give them the gift of our having stayed together even through those times that were hard, when it wasn’t fun and romantic, when we didn’t feel like dancing barefoot together.

We don’t dance so much now; we sit on the porch together at night, my husband smoking, and we look at the stars and remember when.  It’s not crazy and adventurous but it is peaceful and warm.  I have spent well over half my life with him, through incredible highs and some pretty serious lows, and he’s still there and I’m still here and neither of us is going anywhere until one of us finally goes to meet our Lord.

No matter how badly we may have messed up in other areas as parents, at least we can give this to our children, the gift of our marriage, imperfect but permanent for as long as we both shall live.

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17 thoughts on “Life-long marriage is a gift you give your children.

  1. What a lovely post, Sunshine. I know I’ve enjoyed hearing my parents talk about their lives before they had all their children and also before they even knew each other. It’s so easy at times, especially when you’re still young and more or less wrapped up in your own life, to forget that your parents are people, their own beings with their own set of strengths and faults. When I sit and reflect on it, I find that I really am both impressed and encouraged that my parents have been together for so long and, despite bumpy parts here and there, have a made such a strong bond and happy life together. /early morning ramblings. Again, wonderful post; I’m glad to have read it. – Lis 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You are so right. I’ve been following the Hudson family feud, and it’s a pretty stark contrast to read your post afterwards. How do women NOT know what they are doing to their family when they don’t stay together for some of the trivial reasons that they give for splitting. It is absolutely a huge accomplishment and a tremendous gift to children to persevere. When it feels like the whole world is against you, and it seems like no one can understand what you are going through or how hard you are trying, if you persist, I genuinely believe that God sees that. I guess it isn’t always in our power to solve things, but it is within our power to

    “force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ahhh, such lovely words. Somebody smart recently pointed out to me that the fruits of commitment are devotion. Where as commitment speaks to making a promise, a contract, devotion is genuine loyalty and enthusiasm for a person, a state of being that tends to bring us great pleasure.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You mean you reminisce with your children about the concerts you went to?

    What kind of parent are you?! You’re supposed to burst into song/dance the way you did in your teenage years and embarrass your kids horribly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen. My kids love, I mean hate, it when I put an old LP on the turntable and play a truly awful song that apparently made #2 on the German (and other European) charts back in 1982: “Da da da” by Trio. Nothing like a funky beat with idiotic lyrics with comically flat singing.

      And they’re really appalled when I practice “wife carrying” in the backyard with Mrs. Bubba. Winner wins his wife’s weight in beer, donchaknow?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My kids like hearing about way back when as well, although they prefer their father’s retelling much more than mine. As it was then, so it is now: He’s much more interesting.

    An aside: my kids actually like the music we used to listen to when we were young. Some of it is oh-so-awful, but the songs we liked best were recorded before our time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very lovely post.

    I know a couple that have been together since they were 14. I’m sure they have had their ups and downs, but they are still together and have a lovely family, grown children and grandkids. They are now 67. All their lives they have been together, though I think they did break up a time or two as teenagers and date other people. People that meet their one and only young are very lucky. I had a boy I met when I was 16, it didn’t work out, and we have spent a lifetime thinking of each other, though we both are married.

    Fuzzy
    I know there’s a special lady out there somewhere for you Mr. Bear.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Sunshine Thiry

    I am very pleased to see you back blogging. I had no idea you were back. I cannot remember seeing your blog on Hawaiian Libertarian’s blogroll, for example. Perhaps I just missed it.

    Anyway, good.

    Like

    • Hello Julian!

      I’ve had this blog for a while now, about eight months, but it is not an “issues” blog like my previous two. This is just kind of a personal blog – lots of cooking, gardening, stuff like that, with a little smattering of politics and “issues” thrown in now and then. Probably not of interest to many of my old readers unless they also happen to be interested in gardening.:)

      Hope you’ve been well!

      Like

      • Over where Farm Boy usually posts, I thought to give him a video link with Jeff Daniels honoring the anniversary of the second day at Gettysburg.
        This one may be more appropiate for a wider audience.

        That is one heck of a monologue.

        Like

  8. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/07/05) | The Reactivity Place

  9. Pingback: Blogging Again | younggodlywomen

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