In the beginning you simply can’t get enough of each other. The
comparison to oxygen is an apt one, you want to be together every
moment of the day. Hands holding, lips touching. How would you survive
You take the plunge and move in together. An engagement follows and
then a wedding. Friends and family bring their best selves to wish you
a lifetime of happiness.
There is a dog, then a cat, then a baby to join the little family
that’s been created.
Soon he becomes the focus, the rearranging of schedules. Gone are the
days of a shared weekend off from work. Baby is first and foremost,
as it should be. There is so much love to go around, but where has the
You fall into a routine. Parent and child, the three of you together
is a rarity saved for holidays and vacations. You think that those
will be happy times, but there is always a transition; that bumpy
readjustment period where you elbow each other to claim a little
breathing room, a little space.
Years pass by as you settle into your jobs, into school. You decide to
go back to school, which takes time away from your family, but you are
assured it will be worth it.
You blink and discover that where you used to pack up and move every
two years, you’ve been in this same house more than eight years. Jobs
have remained stable, but your dog and cat have passed on. New animals
have been welcomed. Your baby has changed; he has grown taller and
faster than expected. College looms on the horizon, you can almost
reach out and touch it. But you don’t want to. Not just yet.
For that will mean another change, reverting back to yesteryear. Two
instead of three. More time to be together, time to be apart. Biking,
taking pictures, reading in a companionable silence. Until one of you
is so moved to read a piece aloud. Each enjoying the freedom, but
missing. Missing. Like an arm, a leg. What props you up, keeps you
going, keeps you whole. But you’ll readjust, go on. You always do.
But those years are still a ways off. Now we are getting ready for
Circus Camp. The packing, the driving, the hugging and the leaving.
For two weeks it will be just the two of us trying to get a few things
done around the house. Trying to be considerate of each other, but
becoming shockingly aware that there are only two. The house is eerily
quiet at night; no fan whirring in the next room, no reminders to turn
out the light. But by the time we adjust it’s time to pick him up
again. There is just enough time here for each of us to get a taste of
what life will be like. It is surely bittersweet.
Two is quite nice, but three is still a magic number.