So last night I had a dream that Ryan cheated on me. More like a nightmare. And it was one of those dreams that you can’t brush off when you wake up. It was an emotional voyage, and when I woke up, I was sobbing. In the dream, I guess it all started because, in real life, I’ve started having the “baby” talk with Ryan. And he is not ready to hear it. And so, in this dream, he was kind of rebelling. He hooked up with a younger girl and then came home and bragged to me about it. Because he knew I would never leave him. And I was devastated. I kept saying things you hear in movies. Like “I can’t believe you’d throw the past six years away!” Like “I never thought you would hurt me.” Like “I never thought this relationship would end.” And the worst part was, he didn’t react to anything I said. He didn’t care. He watched me walk out the door with a smirk on his face. He planned on continuing to see this other girl. He still went out to dinner with his parents and pretended nothing happened. My alarm started to go off, and I kept snoozing it because I wanted to see where this dream was going.
It wasn’t until the end that he finally started to come around, that he confessed he was trying to rebel because all I want from him is a baby. And I think that’s about when I woke up sobbing. Because I’ve been with Ryan for six years now, and I’ve never been hurt by him. Not for a second. And the feelings I was experiencing in this dream were things I hadn’t felt since my high school days of boyfriend betrayal. And I’d forgotten how painful those feelings can be. And it dawned on me, that I have always assumed that our relationship will last forever. It has always been so solid and safe. I’ve taken that for granted. I just realized that I’d better respect where Ryan’s coming from. That just because he’s my husband doesn’t mean we’re always going to the on the same page in the grand scheme of planning for the future. And as much as I feel like we need to have these discussions, sometimes I need to step back and appreciate and recognize the stage we’re at now. And treat him like the amazing husband he is.
My husband and I hiked up the new stretch of the Appalachian trail at Bear Mountain in NY yesterday. The hike was beautiful. It took about an hour and a half to reach the summit, but it was humid as hell, and sometimes it kicks your butts to walk 800+ steps while going up the side of a mountain.
Today my husband and I wandered around town together. We ate lunch at the diner and then drove around searching for houses with “for rent” signs on the porches. We looped around the Alexan, a luxury apartment community that’s still under construction, and then we headed down the road further to the teardrop 9/11 memorial we’d never visited.
We noticed a cruise ship docked at the port at the end of the road. After Ryan flashed his i.d. to the security guard, we pulled into the parking lot and were amazed at the size of the ship beside us. We just stood there and stared at it. I noticed the people excitedly walking around on the decks. They must have just boarded. We walked over to the teardrop and stared up at it for a few moments, but it was the cruise ship we couldn’t take our eyes off of. I’ve never been on a cruise ship before, and I couldn’t get over the size of it.
We both had sweatshirts on, but the wind was stronger by the water, and we were both getting colder. We huddled together and stood there, beside other visitors, and stared up at the ship. We read the words on the side Explorer of the Seas . We imagined together what each level must look like. I couldn’t even count the balconies on the side. We watched for about a half hour before it finally blew its horn and began to slowly move away from the dock. People beside us were waving and calling out to the people on the ship, while their family and friends waved back. I noticed people on their balconies taking pictures of us as they pulled away. I was thinking about their future photo albums, and this moment at the beginning. Strangers huddled together in sweatshirts and hats, staring up in awe. I grew envious of the warmer places they would find themselves in very soon.
We forgot about our apartment hunt and instead picked up coffee and headed home to research cruise ships.
I’ve recently realized how much I enjoy being alone. At work, I’m in a room all day with nine-twelve babies and two other teachers. We are constantly, constantly, constantly on the go. (Busy with diapers and feedings and phone calls from parents and painting and singing and reading and water play…) And I don’t usually leave for lunch, since I can’t refuse a free lunch (and we have a chef). I usually hide out in the laundry room at work for ten minutes if I want to make personal calls…Otherwise I eat in a cramped room with a bunch of other teachers. Teachers who are constantly gossipping or asking for advice or talking about the color of their kids’ poop today. And then I go back to my room with the screaming and the laughing and the tired, hungry, and playful babies. And the questioning parents who follow you all the way to the door on your way out…
So sometimes, when I get to my car, I sit there in silence. I drive home with the windows up, the radio off, and enjoy my me time.
People keep asking me how married life is. We lived together for a while before we got married, so I honestly figured nothing would change. After the first day, I couldn’t believe how different I felt though. And I’ll never forget rolling over in bed the first morning and seeing a ring on Ryan’s finger. That was really what did it for me. I kept looking at his hand for the first couple days. Now, 6 weeks later, it feels really incredible. We’re just stronger. More “official”. Our bond really has changed. That whole chapter of our lives is over now. This is it. We have each other. I don’t know how else to describe it.
This is the rest of our lives.
I had a really hard time helping my dad move to Tennessee. (He moved so that he could keep his job.) I was fine on the drive down, but when we got there…I just felt uneasy. I felt like I wanted to go up to each of his neighbors, grab them and say, “Please look out for my dad.” I know that he’s fine. And he’s got a doberman to keep him company. But I hated leaving. And he’s 15 hours away. I was a mess the drive home. I was fine for the first six hours, and then I lost it. Memories just came racing back to me. Especially once we got to Pennsylvania. Everything made me think of my dad. All the times he came to pick me up from college. One time I hadn’t seen him for 3 months, and when he came to get me, he told me he learned how to make whale sounds. He entertained me with them the whole drive back to NJ. And we passed Dorney Park–where we spent the entire summer after my parents got divorced. Once we hit NJ, I took over the driving. I think I did better that way. But I wasn’t ok. I’m still just coping. I’m basically on edge whenever I think about it. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to relax until he comes back.
We took my dad’s doberman for a hike to Pyramind Mountain in Boonton, NJ today. The dog was SO excited to be out exploring a new trail. We’d only been walking about 20 minutes though when Bruno headed off the trail and kept sniffing the ground around him. We figured he had to poop, so we just stood there chatting for a few minutes. Then I noticed we were being watched by someone–a giant black bear. I locked eyes with it, and I just said to my husband, “There’s a bear.” The bear was looking straight at us, as he continued to slowly move toward us. We both grabbed the dog’s leash tightly and started moving him back down the trail. Ryan was saying, “We’re not supposed to move quickly. We’re not supposed to look scared. We shouldn’t have our back to him.” But Bruno hadn’t seen the bear yet, and I didn’t want to chance it. I was just saying, “Come on, Bruno,” in a playful voice, while my heart was pumping rapidly. Ryan kept glancing backward. We went separate ways around a tree, and Bruno’s leash got tangled. “Do you have him? Do you have him?” Ryan was asking, while it was evident he was panicking. I shrieked, “I have him,” took the leash fully, and kept on walking. Ryan glanced behind us again. “Is he following us?” I asked. “No. He was, but he’s not anymore” was Ryan’s answer. We warned a father with a young child of what we had just seen, and we continued walking quickly until we made it back to the parking lot.
We found two trail workers standing by their cars. One asked if our dog enjoyed his walk, and I told him we saw a bear. He asked where, and when I said “on the orange trail”, he said, “Oh yeah, he lives there. A 400 pound male. Good thing you had your dog on a leash.” He said if Bruno had threatened him, the bear probably would’ve charged us. Bruno growls at any animal that moves. If Bruno had seen him, he definitely would have growled or barked or charged. I’m thinking our hike could have had a very different ending.