Monday, July 12, 2010

Am I Changing Again?!

I married when I was 31 -  long after most of my friends married. While they were setting up house and driving back and forth to the obstetrician, I was traveling, dating, earning three graduate degrees, dating some more, working some life-changing jobs, living in three different regions of the U.S., dating even more, and having a wonderful decade of 20-something -ness.

When I was 33,  Checkered and I became parents for the first time.   We were instantly and completely in love with our beautiful daughter.  During her first sixth months of life, as she repeatedly told us that she wasn't then and never would be a sleeper, and while I walked millions of miles with my miserably colicky baby, I told her all about my 20's.  I told her how I had really known who I was by the time I met her daddy.  I told her how I had done so much that by my 30's there was no restlessness in me.  I told her that no one should ever marry until he or she crosses the 30 threshold.  No one.

Now I'm not in my 30's anymore and I'm watching as several of our contemporaries send the last of their children off to college.  I watch as they take early retirements.  I watch as they begin second careers and welcome grandkids

And it makes me think.

This past week-end we went to the wedding of a 20 year old bride and groom.  They have no college degrees, no career paths in place, no real marketable skills yet, and neither has ventured much beyond their parents' homes.  But they are sincere.  They are in love.  They are fine people.

As we walked out of the ceremony, my 15 year old daughter (who now sleeps through the night) said,
 "I can't wait to get married!"

I startled myself by saying,
"If you find the right man in five years, sure!"

I really think I actually meant it.

16 comments:

k80 @ onegirlsjourney said...

Insightful post! I was a late bloomer in getting married (36) and I always hoped I would get married right out of college. Guess God had other plans. I used to think it was better to get married older (as I found myself in that situation and could see some of the benefits) but I still see something very beautiful when 2 young people seem to have the maturity and understanding of what makes a marriage work and take that on at such an early age. How nice to be able to grow up w/ the person you are daily becoming one with. Just my 2 cents.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

hummmmm must think on this a while i was 19 when mike and i met... 20 when we had cory...he was 35...

Lucy and Ethel said...

I was barely 20, and Randy was 23 when we got married (our first baby arrived 12 years later).

Our 'kids' are almost 24 and almost 21, and I'm in no hurry for them to get married!

Lucy

Cranberry Morning said...

This is such an interesting post! At what age should people marry? I think when they're ready to get married. There is something to the idea of getting older together, rather than two older people, set in their ways, trying to now adjust to another person in their lives.

I sometimes think that people from larger families, where they've never had the luxury of being selfish, have an advantage. Understanding 'commitment' and not being selfish aren't traits that necessarily occur with age.

Cassie said...

Sometimes we surprise ourselves! I went from being 18 and not wanting to get married until I was 30, to meeting my husband at 22 and falling madly in love and deciding marriage was for me at a much younger age than I thought!

Mental P Mama said...

Wonderful post! And I think 30 should be the minimum age. Maybe 35....

Busy Bee Suz said...

I also want my girls to wait.
But then again, I met their Dad when I was 17....and all these years later: bliss.

I suppose it depends on the person.
Glad your baby is sleeping through the night.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I married Cdub at 38 and I was 41 when Little T was born. And he has always slept through the night and now half the day. My sisters have grandkids other than him but I wouldnt have it any other way.
I think we all just want the best for our kids.
<><

Betty said...

I married very young (18) and sometimes regret it. Just because I missed out on so many things.....
But then again, I don´t understand that my daughter who is now 24 still has no boyfriend and loves her single life. I missed doing all the things she can, but still pray that she will find someone to spend her life with. Does that make sense? I know it sounds hypocritical, but who can change emotions?

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

There's a lot to be said for having them young while you've got the energy. And there's a lot to be said for having them older, when you've got the wisdom.

Aging Mommy said...

I had to go away and think about this. I think the answer is that everyone is different. When I was 19 I knew I did not want to be married with kids in my twenties, I wanted to have a career, see the world and do things. Which I did. But others at that age see things very differently and I think there are advantages and disadvantages to either having children when young or when older. I think the key thing is to ensure that you do have a life of your own, as your own person, as a couple, whether before or after kids but also to some extent during. My husband's parents were teenagers when they got married and his Mom was 21 when he was born and 22 when his sister was born. They devoted their lives to their children but when the children eventually left home they had nothing - as my husband puts it they were old before their time, worn out having put all their energy into their family and now 15 years later are still living the same life, not because they enjoy it but because they know nothing different.

Kelli Nørgaard said...

amazing how all of our "nevers" end up with possibility when we look at our kids....
it's a blessing to get to experience their dreams WITH them!

Karen Deborah said...

Very thoughtful post. I think it depends on the people, how mature they are and if they understand COMMITMENT! I found my husband in my late 30's and he wasn't my first. I sometimes wish we lived more like we did in the "old days" when there was no "teenage" time. You were just a child until you became grown and then you had your own family. It's the stickin together part. If they have that firmly in their hearts, then bless them, whatever the age.

Big Hair Envy said...

Fabulous post! CB and I met when I was fifteen. We married when I was 20. I have no regrets because I feel as if we made the best decisions for us at any given moment in time. I don't have a particular age in mind for SW to marry...I only want her to be happy, well-treated, and able to support herself!!

wendy said...

Hi..I found you through Java's Over 40' Bloggers.
It is always fun to meet new blogger friends and learn from them.

This was an interesting post. It is interesting the "directions" life takes us. Sometime by our choosing and sometimes not.
I wish when I were younger I would have taken more seriously education and that kind of future. I think it is important for women/girls to KNOW all the options out there for them.
But I was a high school drop out...on my third marriage. I have a good life and I think maybe NOW at my ripe ol age of 59, maybe I am beginning to understand who I am and what I am capable of.

Mrs4444 said...

I got married at 26, but was with Mr.4444 for six years before I finally dragged him down the aisle, so that probably doesn't count as waiting to get married. Still, I'm glad I was older and glad that I was 29 when I had my colicky baby; I cannot imagine how hard it would have been, had I been 20 (or a teenager, for that matter!)