Act II

We finally figured out how to juggle it all - the kids, work, carpools, ice hockey practices, his parents, my parents, orthodontist appointments, the persistent leak in the downstairs toilet - and still have time to squeeze in date night. Blink. And just like that, the kids are out of the house. All at once there’s no more clutter in the family room. Dinners have moved from the large farm table to the counter next to the sink (for easy clean up). Even laundry has dwindled to one meager load every other day. Looking at the empty space on the calendar we sigh and exclaim in unison: “Ahh! Time to...



Wait. What?

Up until this point we each knew just what to do to keep the family running smoothly. An unspoken but clear division of responsibilities that kept us moving forward. When it came to household duties - Him: dispose of scary bugs on the ceiling. Me: dispose of the cat’s hair balls. Raising the children- Him: field T balls Me: field calls from the school nurse. Getting through the teen years- Him: going with them to DMV. Me: going with them on college tours. We were in sync. On the same page. Perfect dancing partners. But now...

He thinks it would be great to get a motorcycle and ride with the wind in our hair. I’m thinking “Sure. One minute we’re scootering around town and the next we are scootering around Walmart in one of those carts with a basket in the front.” He thinks we should sell the house and move to Florida. I’m thinking “When did happy hour turn into early bird?” He thinks we should take a cruise. I’m thinking “Are we that silver haired couple on the cover of every brochure?”

It took a while but now I am writing fervently hoping to sell my TV pilot. He is reading my drafts. I am upgrading my laptop. He is unplugging. I am waiting for the next phone call. He has his phone on silent. I am hoping for coffee with producers. He is hoping for coffee in his pajamas. It took a while but I am thinking Florida might be a nice reprieve in January. He agrees that 4:30 is too soon for dinner. It took a while but I agreed to get a motorcycle helmet. He offered to pay for tickets to LA.

After thirty years of marriage we are still figuring out. Still moving forward. Retiring. And reinventing.

By Beth Brier

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