Wednesday, January 23, 2019

13 Years of Vicky & Sue

That's what my Instagram Story said yesterday. It was a nice selfie of V and me at Beni's first ever Sports Day. (Which we had forgotten about and would have totally missed had we not received an SMS reminder the afternoon before, oops.)

Vicky said it felt like a long time and he was right but to me it feels ridiculously short considering I feel like I've been married forever. That sounds vaguely unflattering, now that I come to think of it. Yet, after all this time, marriage feels rather prosaic.

13 years of putting laundry back into the bin because Vicky will throw it half outside. Of cleaning bathrooms after him and his sons have used them. 13 exhausting years of household chores and management. 13 years of having him 'help' me because he will not own his share of of his own household. Of watching him grow older and not being upset about it any more. Of watching him change and adapt to new people and places and do it all rather better than I'd expected. We've had some truly terrible fights in all these years, until I gave up last year. That's not to say we won't fight again but I don't think I'll ever have any serious expectations of him again. (But this is me, changing chameleon me, so who knows?) 13 long years of always having to apologise first because my Scorpio dragon doesn't do apologies either in word or in spirit.

13 years of watching him treat marriage and fatherhood as parts of his life that can be set aside when he wishes to. I don't even resent it any more. If anything, I try to emulate it from time to time so I can ditch the guilt and give myself my sorely needed times out. 13 anniversaries that we mostly celebrated with half-hearted effort because we were fighting or broke or -- as he will not stop reminding me -- because I was in Bali.

13 years of watching my family deal with him. He's gone from being the new son-in-law to the 'old' one that everybody is used to and often forgets to treat with that nonsensical jamai aador. My brother opened up to him once; he's never opened up to me in his life and I don't expect him ever to.

13 years of watching him being him. Watching him learn to be first Rahul and then Beni's father -- they need different fathers and he's learning to switch. Watching him. Wanting him to be different and then being aghast that he changed. Losing the friend I fell in love with and slowly finding him again. I do wonder about the years still ahead of us but mostly, these days, I live the days we have right now, being present with him, one day at a time. For now, that's enough.

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