In the Cocoon

It's incredible how restorative 2 hours with my husband can be. We've been really busy lately juggling 2 kids, 2 jobs (his is crazy) and only 1 car. We're managing it all but it's really cutting into our time just the two of us. And we are a couple who loves time alone. As much as we love our kids and we spend a lot of time with them, there is something so restorative about climbing back into that cocoon that is us. 
Because we used to do youth ministry and we stayed in our town afterwards, we get to be involved in many of our "kids" lives. And they are reaching adulthood. Many are married and have kids from our earlier years and our latter year kids are just starting down these paths. I absolutely love teens and young adults. It's such a critical time in your life, when so many decisions are made that have a huge impact on your future. As I talk our kids through these choices, I can't help but be brought back to my choices. Tim and I have been together since I was 21 and he was 23. It's unbelievable to me. I was telling him in the car today that the only reason I married him (at 23) was because of him. I wasn't necessarily ready to get married. I was not looking for a husband when we met.  I was celebrating my singleness and planning my new life as an adult in Dublin. 
Sometimes settling down isn't about readiness. It's about that person. I met THAT person. My nana had an epic love story and she always said, "Don't marry someone you can live with; marry someone you can't live without." And my dad always said, "Begin your adulthood. Decide what you're about, what your values are and where you want to be. And as you go along your way, look to the right or the left. One of those people is probably your future spouse." Good advice, right? Tim was that person. He was the guy I couldn't cut loose. And how much fun I had with him in the middle of the day on a Friday while he was in between shifts, with Macy at school and Penny at the neighbor's house, just reminded me that I made the right choice. I got really lucky. 
I recently read an article about there not being a "right person." It's about choosing what you can tolerate. There's some truth to that. There are many people I have loved and could have easily married and I think been happy with. Care-takers are like that - flexible, adaptive. But the fact that Tim and I keep coming back to the well of our relationship and it's still providing that life-giving water, that's a gift.  And it's one you don't know if you're getting when you get married or not. There's no way to know and that's crazy unfair. 
My brother is totally transient, almost allergic to normalcy. And my sister had kids really young and was the only stable force in her life for a long time. She's the responsible, strong one. I'm somewhere in the middle. Committed, responsible and always leaning into freedom. Sometimes being married doesn't feel like freedom, no matter who you married, especially when you're raising two young children and you're struggling with mental health. And yet somehow, in the middle of that commitment, Tim and I create that freedom in our safe cocoon. It's wild. It's the only way I think I could have done the traditional thing of getting married and having kids without losing that wandering spirit. I don't know how this crazy gift happened, but sometimes I just hold it in wonder.