I return today to this weekly writing practice of Five Minute Friday: Five minutes on a weekly prompt, no editing, just free-flowing words and stream-of-consciousness. And a supportive writing community hosted by Kate Motaung – head over to fiveminutefriday.com to learn more.
As an extroverted introvert – or an introverted extrovert – this question of whether to get together isn’t simple for me to answer. I vacillate between wanting to be together with “my people” (husband, kids, family, neighbors, friends) and craving the quiet solitude that gives my soul space to breathe.
It wasn’t always such a dilemma. I was the “yes girl” all growing up, all through college, and beyond. Then I got married, and we were together all the time – 24/7/365 – and it was great, and it was challenging for us both. But we navigated around it; found ways to be together and to also enjoy being apart. Then twins came barely four years into marriage, and “together” was no longer an option. Their survival very literally depended on it. We were feeding round-the-clock and sleeping in shifts. We were all very together all the time, and it was beautiful and delightful and difficult. I found when given the option during free time, I didn’t choose “together” automatically anymore. I chose “alone” because it became a rare luxury.
But now – these twins are becoming teens, and I find I’m shifting again. I want to be together … and that’s where we all are this weekend, and I’m hoping “together” will be what they want as well in the years and decades to come.
As kids, my two younger brothers and I would laugh at mom’s desire for “family together time.” We made fun of her for how much she wanted us to be together, even if that together time wasn’t filled with anything “special.” Now I admire her desire (shared and fostered by my dad, too) to be sure that we did share this most precious of commodity together as a family: time. Dinners every night; one weekend night that was devoted to “family fun,” even when I was in high school and rolled my eyes and copped a bad attitude. They were committed to us being together. Whatever that included.
[photo credit: image from inspiremeheather.com]
Now we live up and down the East Coast – literally from the coast of Maine down to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Carolinas. “Together” for the extended Davis family is a rare commodity. One we last shared in our annual May beach week; the next one yet to be scheduled since there are two December babies due (my sisters-in-law’s, not mine!); and we Nelsons will be celebrating what’s likely to be the last New Jersey Nelson Christmas since plans are in motion for my in-laws to move closer to us next summer.
Together is precious, as precious as ever, even more so because it is so infrequent. Together isn’t about what you do; it’s about who you are with and what we share: time, faith, emotions, joys, sorrows. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me the value of “together.”
Today I’m participating in Lisa-Jo’s “Five Minute Friday,” a chance to write unedited for five minutes on a word given by Lisa-Jo each Friday. Come join us!