We barely have time for ourselves, let alone each other. I can't imagine doing this with anyone else, but at times, I see how easily I could slip into doing it with a stranger. It takes work for us to be on the same page; we have to fight through the weight of exhaustion and sacrifice. His hair is turning gray, even though his mouth looks the same when he laughs as it did 11 years ago. But though it looks the same, those people have long since vanished. They have been replaced with "mom" and "dad" and "did you brush his teeth already?" and "who's picking them up today?"
Sometimes, I feel like I'm running at full speed while someone holds onto my collar. So much to do, but so little time. And when the hold is finally broke, I've been running so fast in place that I fall flat on my face, paralyzed by everything that I have to and suffering from a complete inability to do anything at all.
There is more compassion and more resentment for our own parents as one of us learns how hard it is to anticipate how our actions will impact our children, and the other one comes to realize that some actions truly may be unforgivable. There is a humility that comes with realizing that parents do not solely exist to service their children, but they do because that is a part of unconditional love.
There is more struggle with the miniature versions of ourselves as we come to realize that no matter how hard we try, there are certain things that will remain the same. A gravity exists now in realizing that our actions have consequences that extend outside of ourselves. A dull sadness creeps in when I see my children struggling with the demons I had swore they would not have to fight.
Five years sober today for Jeff. The problems today sound much easier, but they feel a lot harder. The feeling and memory of that universe we existed in five year ago is becoming tattered and distorted with age. I'll always remember that man I met in a bar without any windows on a Monday night, careless and carefree. I loved him and I loved the person I was. But no, we don't do the same drugs no more.