I lived in Arizona for three years, and that’s about as long as I could stand it. The only good thing to come out Arizona was my first-born. Okay, that’s a little harsh and not totally true.
I did meet some wonderful people, and movie night at ASU’s Gammage Theater was cool. For $1 you could get popcorn and see the movie. But I hated living in a condo surrounded by concrete, it was way too hot and there was no ocean.
I was happy to say goodbye in June of 1984 as we packed up a U-Haul with our belongings and headed back home to Oregon.
We found a little rental in town with two bedrooms and a back yard with a clothesline, and settled in with our little family. I loved our time in that tiny place. I decorated the baby’s room with trains and bright colors, read all the books on how to be a good parent, and spent my days with my boy.
Life just started to go by, as I was busy being a new mother. Nothing remarkable happened, yet it was all extraordinary and I loved every minute of it.
We moved to a bigger house so I could start a small daycare and my days were filled with reading books, wiping noses, making lunches and sitting on the floor playing with kids. Life was good.
By the time I was 26, baby number two was on his way. My first pregnancy was a breeze and everything went just as the books say it will. I had a sort of cocky attitude about it, like “that was easy”.
Life has a way of humbling me when I get too arrogant.
I was six months pregnant when I had to have surgery on my mouth. It was the worst and most painful surgery I have every gone through. I spent four hours in the dentist chair while the doctor stuck me and cut into me so many times I started shaking.
When he was finished, they packed my mouth with gauze, gave me ice packs for my checks, and pushed the button to raise me up. As the chair lifted, the tears fell. I started crying and I didn’t stop for hours afterwards.
When my husband and two year old came to pick me up, the first words out of my son’s mouth were, “What did you do to my Mommy?” Recovery was rough and it was about that time, I came to realize I wasn’t married to a caregiver.
We never really had a great relationship, and probably not even a good one. But things got worse for us during those months. Before our second son was born, I was extremely unhappy. We fought almost daily, and when we were not arguing, we were ignoring each other.
We both mastered the art of the silent treatment.
So what do you do when you’re nine months pregnant, have a two and a half year old and your marriage is falling apart? You buy a house of course. Our second son was born in our new home on the golf course, and we just kept going.
I had my little family and I spent my energy and time on my boys and raising them. I didn’t dwell on my marriage or try to figure out what was wrong.
I just let the years go by.