Hello, friends and family!! I was talking with Chau this week about how our lives together have handed us moments of decision as well as moments of discovery. Sometimes we cannot tell the difference, and sometimes it may not seem to matter. Our younger selves did not yet know that we would eventually finish college, get married, and build a life raising two daughters. We did not know how our daughters would be different from each other, or different from us. We did not know how, as parents, we would be different from our parents. How our marriage would be different from theirs. Some of these differences would be via decision, and some would be via discovery.
For example, we decided to finish college but discovered that post-graduate studies was not something we felt drawn to. We decided to have kids but discovered that we did not crave more than two, even if neither was a boy. We decided to get married but discovered that we could still be deeply in love over a decade later. We also decided to stay married even when we discovered that being in love does not make a marriage easier.
Over 11 years into our marriage, it is clear to me that the success we have had so far is something to be proud of even though the work is far from over. In some ways, it seems like the work is just getting started. Our daughters are at an age now where they experience childhood in such a fast-paced way, preparing for the future while still enjoying the perks of being kids. We hear the advice from everyone, including ourselves. Stop and smell the roses. Let them have fun. Guide them in finding their passions. Keep them away from bad influences. Make sure they learn life skills. Maintain good study habits. Form strong bonds with them. All good advice, but attached with a price.
We can already see where this marriage is headed if we do not pay attention. Husband and wife become father and mother for so long that, without realizing it, father and mother have forgotten that they are also husband and wife. In fact, father and mother have forgotten that they were first husband and wife. A while back I wrote about how unlikely I think it is that a couple stays happily married. Perhaps I will share it in an upcoming post. For now, I will say that the road ahead includes our best efforts at being good spouses to each other and being good parents to our daughters. It will likely be full of challenges, surprises, risks, and milestones. But we feel like we are as prepared as we can be. Also, we have our love for each other and our vision to aid us. Plus, there are a few tools up our sleeve that we can utilize if necessary, such as the option to let go of some aspect that does not help our mission. Every step of the way, we are discovering factors that affect our decisions going forward. Discover, decide, repeat. With these factors accounted for, we are deciding how to forge ahead, and we will soon discover what that means for our family.