Marriage is weird
On a rare occasion, I love terrible T.V. Most recently, that means: “Married at First Sight.” The idea is that three U.S. couples marry someone that “the experts” have arranged for them. It made me start to think about how odd marriage it is: you meet someone, then as a rule, you make a deal that you will treat each other differently than you would treat anyone else. In a way, each one of our relationships is like a marriage of sorts. There are unwritten rules on how to treat colleagues, friends, house guests and elevator partners… Whether in a marriage or in a meeting, following the rules leads to a larger chance of success.
Here’s the question: How do we learn the rules?
Our oldest turned seven today. She was beyond excited all day long and did her best not to tell every stranger it was her big day (only about half). The other strangers we met, found out about our family celebration from our three year old announcer who proudly let the world know that her big sister was bigger today. At the end of the day we heard the most surprising announcement from Simka; “This was the best day EVER.” When asked why, she simply responded, “Because it was Freya’s birthday.”
How can we remember to tap into the joy of those we love?
I met the most wonderful dad on a playground outside of Ithaca this afternoon. After I pointed out my wife and kids, he began to talk about his three year old who loves My Little Pony more than anything and is willing to trade in the long expired pacifier for a giant Snow White. This big, macho sports writer said he loves his son just the way he is. He continued to share how earlier in the day, “Jack” asked to wear his Wonder Woman outfit to the dump, his dad said, “of course” and away they went. I shared a bit about the transgender youth in our elementary schools in Ithaca and this dad said,”this here seems like a good community, I don’t see it how it could problem here either”. .. It won’t be, because that kid… has that dad.
I was lucky enough to be home with the napping babies when my extended family came for a visit. While it is wonderful when we are together as a whole “clan”, it was particularly special to have them all to myself without any child needing any part of my attention. Isn’t it amazing how much we can communicate to each other when our attention is not divided? With kids, internet, to do lists, jobs and meal prep, there is a rare moment when our minds are not partially elsewhere. When we find a moment to fully attend to the present moment, the result can be pretty awesome.
After a wild day with friends and family, my job was to give the twins a bath in an unfamiliar tub. They are in the “mobile but dangerous zone” of avid crawling and exploring while lacking spacial awareness. This means every ounce of my being was spent from keeping them from drowning while tumbling over each other. For example, at one point I caught one by the ankle (in order to avoid falling the rest of the way out of the tub) while simultaneously blocking the other one from smashing his face on the spigot (again) and falling backward into the water. The whole scenario made me think about the times in life when one hundred percent of our beings are invested in a particular moment. To me, it’s a thrill and a rush…and a little exhausting.
What are times you use one hundred percent of your being in a single task? How does it feel once that moment is over?
I was going for comfort when I grabbed an “Ithaca is Gorges” T-shirt and cargo pants to wear this morning. While this is practically my wife’s uniform, the outfit felt so odd to me, I found myself in my room, changing clothes a couple of hours later. This laundry making experience made me realize that no one can label “comfort” for us. Whether a job, a relationship or a pair of pants, we are the only ones who can decide what (and who) puts us at ease.
What ( or who) makes you feel at ease?
Our little guy has learned to climb up stairs…up, not down. While I am trying my best to teach him how to belly slide his way to the bottom, I also can’t help but love the optimism in his act…always ascending.
How can we continue to ascend regardless of what comes our way?