|Our daughter lighting the birthday candles|
This week my husband turned 50. This weekend our second son goes off to university. Next week, our eldest daughter enters her last year of high school, and our youngest will enter middle school. I am slightly overwhelmed by it all. I reflect on the fact of my husband turning 50 and think, whoa - my dad used to be 50; when I was a kid life seemed like it would last forever and anyone over 40 was practically ancient. Now that I'm in my 40's, Whoosh! is the sound the years make as they go by.
However, I like being in my 40's. I like how calm I am, and how generally patient I can be. I like my kids being at the age they are at, still young enough to be fun and fully open to life, yet old enough to have meaningful conversations with. Sometimes I look at mothers with young children and think, Oh, I remember that feeling. You are so tired and earnest, and everything your child does now seems so important to his future. I say 'his' because my first born is a boy. I remember with some guilt how much I expected of him at the age of two. Cringe.
When I met my husband, I was nearly 21 and he was 27. While apparently quite opposite in our interests, his being sports and business, and mine being the arts and literature, we fell in love over our shared taste in music, our love for nature, and the British comedy shows like Black Adder introduced to us by our brother-in-law, Brent. In fact, it was Brent and his wife, my sister Clare, who introduced us to each other at the Elephant Walk Pub in Vancouver. When we parted that first evening, and to paraphrase Ring Lardner, we gave each other a smile with a future in it and never looked back. When my mother heard we were dating, I am sure she thought he was too old for me. But when she met my new boyfriend, she told me he was very young at heart. And he still is. He says he certainly doesn't feel 50, except for this past Monday night when he had coached soccer for two hours in the pouring rain. He came in the house looking like something the cat dragged in. And we don't even have a cat.
We had a great party for my husband this past weekend. Several of our friends gathered at our home for an evening of friendship, food and good cheer. My husband was so touched by everyone's generosity, and was thrilled that our eldest son could come home for the event. My husband is having a good year. Besides reaching the half-century mark with great success and blooming health, he trained for and completed a 160 kilometer cycling race in July, knocking a full half hour off his personal best time. He looks and feels great - except when the invisible cat drags him in - and I am proud to be his partner in life, cheering him on. Quite a goal driven person all his life, my husband is mellowing, as I am, with age. He is more concerned with the quality of his life, and his family's life, than the visible achievements he may gain, although he was pretty darn happy to kick that road race's backside.
Speaking of goals, I thought this would be the summer I would train for a half marathon, but no. I injured the inner tendon on my right knee early in July and have only been able to walk. No hiking, no running, all summer long. I've made the most of it, though, enjoying many an evening walk-and-talk with my daughters. Although my knee is greatly improved and I plan to introduce running back into my life this fall, it is still giving me some minor pain now and again. That patience I mentioned earlier is coming in handy. There is always next year, I tell myself. Life is long, and yet it is short, too. We must make the most of it and be true to the gifts we've been given, and that includes the loved ones we have been given. I look forward to life unfolding as my family grows and develops. It is a new stage we are entering, that is certain.
When my husband and I were first married we listened to a lot of Neil Young. One of our favourite songs, 'Harvest Moon' seems apropo to the moment. The video is, too. Enjoy!
The title of this post is adapted from the last line of Robert Frost's poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Have a lovely weekend, all.