Monday, December 11, 2006


The Partner and I have a spirited marriage. While other parents talk about their spirited children--and all the inherent extremes of energy, sensitivity, insightfulness, intelligence and discipline issues--I find those characteristics more prevalent in our own wed-locked union than in our daughter.

For us, being married is the most difficult aspect of being parents. But that doesn't mean I'm any more prone to giving up on our husband-and-wife status than another mother would be to giving up on her precocious toddler. Nobody said it would be easy. The fact that nobody told me it would be this hard is irrelevant.

We fight all the time. We alternately scream and ignore. We forgive on incompatible timelines. He tries to hold my hand when I have yet to unclench the fist at my side. He puts on a good face in public. I, on the other hand, will put nothing or nobody on--when I am done, not a single person is left unaware of the true state of affairs.

The nature of this "spirit" is such that the depth of its negativity is countered on the high-flying upswing. I find The Partner hysterically funny. He is never disappointed by the kind of shocking anecdotes that come out of my mouth. He is the left brain to my right. He is my biggest supporter.

It's only been two years. Maybe our extremes will slowly shift toward the center. On the other hand, maybe they'll continue to skew the spectrum. The only thing I'm sure about is that today's chaos leaves us with little time or energy to ponder realities that aren't here and now.

But it all begs the question: What becomes of spirited children when they grow up?



Mrs. Chicken said...

Oh, how I feel this. Yes. We are the same. We argue and love with equal intensity. There are days I really think I hate Mr. Chicken. Then there are the days I can't imagine how I survived before I had his lovely soul in my life.

This is wonderful. Truly. You, The Parter and The Boss are a heady trio, I am sure.

And your writing is flowing better than ever.

Michele said...

We, I mean "They" grow up and marry people like my husband, who level them out a bit. In a good way.

He is my other half. Which is not to say that I dont sometimes rise up against him like the Norwalk virus. Hey, its better than flesh eating bacteria.

jen said...

god. thank you.

i can so relate to this.

perhaps then, they simply become us.

binkytown said...

I have so much to say about this but I'll try and keep it short:
1. It is not irrelevant that nobody told you it would be this hard. It is something to be acknowledged and worked through because not knowing that only adds to one's sense of WTF? Why is this so hard?.
2. It is amazing to me that anyone stays married once they have children. Having children turns the heat up on every single issue you and a partner may have- making small issues GIGANTIC. I used to adore my husband before we had a baby. Now I'm thankful when he leaves. I'm short with him, unaffectionate and demanding. Why? I have nothing left to give.
3. Spirit can be a good thing. That means you can fight fiercely but also be fiercely committed. It's easy to do the first, much harder to be strong enough to do the latter. What a great thing to have in a mother and a wife.

Her Bad Mother said...

Husband and I are semi-spirited - we're too passive-aggressive to be fully spirited. WonderBaby's open spiritedness is probably the result of compounded passive-aggressive spiritedness.

There's no winning, really.

Lauren said...

"...and the other fine was for tailgating..."


Kristen said...

I guess the huz and I are spirited -- however, I wish he was my biggest supporter. I spend most days trying to explain myself.

And that sucks.

Mary-LUE said...

What happens to spirited kids when they grow up?

Hopefully, they find jobs they are well suited for or heaven help their boss...

and hopefully, they find a mate well-matched and either equally spirited or companionably sweet-tempered or heaven help their spouse...

... that's all I got.

Kate said...

Nothing wrong with spirit! Hubby and I have been together for over 10 years and we have had our share of "spirited" conversations!

I think it's much better to have passion for things. Makes life much more interesting.

Mom101 said...

Glad we're not the only ones. That's all I'll say about that.

Jenifer said...

Boy do you have a knack of nailing things on the head! Isn't it nice to know you are not alone! My husband and I are both very passionate, opinionated, stubborn people with views that vary greatly on many subjects.

We also fight a lot, and right now we have a ton of undue stressors to make matters worse.

Hang in there, marriage is the gardest thing I've ever done, and I'm still working on being successful at it.

Jenny said...

I am pretty sure that it is the spirited person that grows up and becomes successful at what she does and drives her boss crazy.

It was nice to stumble on to a blog from someone from my home state of CT. I now live in Denver, but I miss new england, especially since my baby is due in April and that is where all my family is.

Steve said...

Wait, you two fought all the time before you were married. For the sake of decency, we'll just say that we all thought it was how you two showed your affection (well, at least the after-party was...)