That thing I was not talking about? It's resolved—and solved. And now I can exhale and truly lean in to the new shape of things.
My daughter and my niece both left this morning to return to their separate cities and schools. My heart felt shredded watching them get ready, such women of the world, their independence shrugged back on like a familiar coat, all business and looking ahead. And then they were gone through the door, me watching them down the hall until they disappeared into the elevator, but then I looked around and my son was still here and it was a comfort to see his long lean body sprawled on the couch, and later to hear his music pounding from his room as he got himself ready for work. When I got the news that fairness had prevailed, I hugged him happily and we twirled around and he said, "See, that is why you fight."
Here's something fun. In our recent clearing out of stuff, I happened across some forms my husband and I had filled out in our premarital counseling sessions (yes, we did that). One prompt was, "My favorite way of avoiding conflict is:_______________."
Here's what I wrote:
And here is what my beloved answered:
We wrote those truths and then instantaneously forget them. Or more accurately, utterly failed to take note that our approach to conflict was diametrically opposed. It's promising, I think, that we both had a good laugh over this 27 years and many unavoided conflicts later.