We’ll Always Have Paris

Before I had children, I had a vague notion that my life would change but really nothing can prepare someone for the complete transformation that occurs once baby makes his arrival.

Gone was my self-centeredness.  It wasn’t a conscience shift.  I didn’t have some sort of epiphany.  It was much simpler than that: I just didn’t have the time to focus on myself anymore.

I was quite blinded when it came to my marriage.  I was naïve to think that my relationship would somehow escape the trials of parenthood unscathed.

Somewhere between diaper changes and car shuttles to skating lessons, I opened my eyes to the fact that my husband and I were becoming a cliché: ships passing in the night.  Each of us charting our own course: me, on a quest to be the perfect mother and him the perfect provider.

Both of us were unintentionally neglecting the very glue that holds our precious family together.

It happened in a natural flurry, the shift between coupledom and insta-family.  Our relationship comfortably grew and evolved but in the mess and mire that is parenthood, such a connection between partners can easily fray.

We try to maintain balance with regular “date-nights” but the idea of spending a week away from the kids, our home and all of our responsibilities was exactly what we needed to recharge our selves and our relationship.

Paris gave us a chance to slip off our mother/father identities and try on our former selves.  Our time away was reminiscent of when we were dating.  Amazingly, we fell back into our familiar ways.  No longer was I the bossy, exhausted mother – always pressed for time.   I laughed.  A lot.  We blew off the museums in favour of champagne cocktails and afternoon naps.  We ate late.  Really late.  When normally I would be sleeping.

Without the constraints of time we aimlessly wandered the cobblestone streets and found ourselves.

On the plane heading home, I was as giddy a newlywed; full of promise and renewal, the balance restored.  I watched my husband sitting across the aisle casually sop up the mess from a spilled drink and the little girl beside him fidgeting on her wet seat.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.

In the quiet of that moment, I saw him as the easy-going young man that I had married, the compassionate father he had become and the husband that I have always loved.