Recently I was on solo parenting duty while my husband was away at a conference. This was my first time solo parenting that involved waking up and getting both kids to school. Both my kids are car riders, and each of their schools is in opposite directions with a lot of traffic between them. Factor in that none of us are morning people and that my son particularly struggles with any change to our routine, and I’m sure you can see why this might give me the look of an exhausted woman.
But this is life, and these situations come up from time to time. I try to handle them as gracefully as I can, but since I was in a rush the first morning I did all that without coffee. That should be a medal worthy achievement.
The interesting point came just after I had dropped off my son. As I was walking back to the parking lot one of the teachers happened to notice my tired appearance and asked if everything was alright. I gave her that tired smile and explained that yes I was fine, just struggling with waking up to get both kids to their schools without my husband’s help as he was attending a conference. This was the first time I had ever done the wake up routine without him. She smiled and nodded sympathetically then said, “Oh, honey, you haven’t been married long enough. Just wait. I sometimes wish mine would go on a business trip.”
I smiled and bid her good day, but as I walked away I kept thinking how odd her comment had been. I have been married for going on thirteen years. Isn’t that long enough to be married? How long does one have to be married before they are married long enough? And what does one have to be married long enough for?
Then I started wondering about all those people who get divorced or are widowed. Were they married long enough? Does the counter reset at the end of a marriage? Do people in second marriages know what it means to be married long enough? Does anyone?