My wife and I have always put our children’s needs first as most parents do. As they grew we transported them to birthday parties, proms, sporting events, college tours, etc. We left for Connecticut one dark morning, watched crew races and returned in the dark the same night. Our youngest remarked that he saw the sunrise and the sunset from his seat in the van. The road trips continued on including one drive to Florida for the rowing Nationals, as well as two nights sleeping in our van for a Boston regatta.
My wife and I did these things with a sense of duty, dedication and love. Then came the weddings and Bar/ Bas Mitzvah’s of our extended family. For some reason, many of these fell either on the weekends of Memorial Day, July 4th or Labor Day. For those of you who do not understand the “island mentality” of living in the Downbeach communities, one does not leave the island on the weekends especially holiday weekends. But this was family and there was a sense of obligation so we left behind the beach with its cool breezes and ventured inland with the holiday traffic. Now that my wife and I are in our 60’s we are becoming a little more discerning with our time. A recent health scare highlighted the reality that tomorrow is promised to no one and we want to take the time to share as many rich experiences as we can. I remember when I tried to include my mother in some of these extended family affairs, she would demurely decline the offer stating that she was tired or just didn’t feel that good. I respected her wishes but after some time, it became clear to me what she was doing and it brought a smile to my face.
My mother was in charge of how she lived her life and clearly earned that right. She was perfectly happy enjoying the peaceful life she carved out for herself right where she was. So that’s where my wife and I are heading. While socialization continues to be an important part of our lives, people might question our proclivity for just the two of us heading out to embrace the activities my wife and I enjoy together. Those experiences were almost taken away from us and remain a constant reminder. Try as we may to attend as many events as we can, there may be times when our presence is unaccounted for. Perhaps my back is sore or we are too tired but at any rate, maybe at some point our excuse will bring a knowing smile across your face.