“It’s important that you find something you can do together when the kids leave home.” I remember my mom telling me this right after all of her kids left home. Her advice was always right on target. My mom and dad liked to camp, and garden, and run for public office. While the bedrooms were emptying one by one, their marriage was filling up with travel, roses, and school board. I don’t think they even noticed when the last of us kids left the nest.
So when Tom and I got hitched, I often wondered what this “something” would be. There were things I knew we would NOT do together when our future kids grew up and left our future home. I would NOT be rebuilding motorcycles. He would NOT be singing with the Worship Team at Church. I would NOT be keeping up with him on a mountain bike. He would NOT be writing a hiking blog.
But it was on our honeymoon that I also determined that the “something we can do together for the rest of our lives” would probably NOT be golf either. It was on the third day of the honeymoon. It was sort of a grey and drizzly day. That “new marriage smell” had already worn off. Tom took me to the golf course where we rented some clubs and I played my first round of golf ever. Since the hiking had gone so well, I was very confident in my ability to successfully play a round of golf. I mean…how hard could it be…? By my fifth putt on the fourth hole, all of my wedding adrenaline had crashed into a weepy, insecure puddle of feminine deficiency. Shank. “I hate this stupid game!” Wiff. “Who invented this torture?” Splash. “Damn these evil sticks!” Wiping away the blood that was shooting out of my eyes, I looked up to see Tom silently walking to the parking lot, leaving me standing in the drizzling rain on the 5th hole with the evil sticks and no more golf balls. Is he divorcing me already?? I’m such a failure!! On the drive back to our little hotel (via cable car), Tom broke the crushing silence. His question was all I needed to hear:. “How about if tomorrow we take another hike?”
And then I knew that our marriage wasn’t going to end and that we indeed would have “something we could do together when the kids left home”.