Dear American Dream on Wandrly

Dear American Dream,

We’re sorry it’s taken us this long to sit down like adults and say the things that should have been said a long time ago. But hey, it’s the New Year, let’s start off fresh. Sigh…it’s strange to see you again after all these years. It’s been a long time. You’ve said things, we’ve said things.

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Then You Grew Up…

Let me introduce myself… I’m your mom, Jenn.  I play soccer, go on late night cruises with my boyfriend in his bitching ’76 Camaro, I live out of a backpack so I can go wherever whenever, I love music, and I never turn down a hamburger.

I eat whatever I want, don’t gain a pound, I have a nice ass, I can throw my hair around and it always looks good.  I use hairspray and lots of it when I go dancing.  I can pull off heels like nobody else and I can also run across town in them like nothing.

I have a totally hot boyfriend that I can’t keep my hands off of.  He takes me out every night and we usually spend the night at his work place because our dates usually end when he has to show up for work.

He lets me drive his car even though I don’t have a drivers license and that’s saying something.  Because his car is his signature.  It’s silver and black and has a two tone tint job that he must have saved for through years because I’m sure the lightning bolts on the side windows must have cost a fortune.

He calls me on the phone and we sit and talk for hours.  He’s the best guy I have ever dated and though we both said that we weren’t looking for anything serious when we met, we haven’t mentioned that in a while.   We actually can’t stand to spend anytime apart at this point.

It’s clear we are deeply, madly, and passionately in love.  And, now I’m thinking about marriage, kids, and all that because I’ve met this amazing man.  And I can only imagine how hot it would be to make his babies.  I never really gave too much thought to all this, because at seventeen why would I?

So we made a baby…

But, what we didn’t realize is that the baby would be making us.  We just got to have the fun doing it…like the several hours we spent everyday making sexy time.  I mean hours and hours.  The kind of stuff you can do in your young years.

I celebrated my eighteenth birthday, VIP backstage pass to Ringo Starr, first time to Vegas, and the Rush concert knocked up with our first child.  Because I wanted to.  We wanted to.  We wanted a baby more than we thought because with every contraceptive available right there on our nightstand table, we usually never grabbed any one of them.  We chose life.  And we got it.

And it would be the last time I would see this belly…Or party, drunk, and single couple pictures like this…

Nope… no more late nights partying on the beach, tripping mushrooms, college football bonfires, six hour sex nights, random road trips, sitting in the driveway talking till sunrise, living on twenty bucks for a week, sleeping on friends couches, bailing friends out of jail on spring break, having a spring break, winter break, or summer break.

With no hairspray, heels, or drugs (birthing drugs to clarify), birth was given to us as a young couple.  Most people say that they gave birth, but we were the ones that were birthed from this process.

Austin, you were amazing and life changing.  The love that you came from, outstanding.

Do you know what it’s like to live for someone else?  Do you know what it’s like to completely give up your life to hopefully, and I do mean hopefully, do something right with it?  Do you know what it’s like to love?  Do you know what it’s like to trust one another?  Do you know how to give up everything you’ve ever loved or had so that you could share?

Have you ever spent thirty years in a cabin?


(Watch the whole thing or get off my blog)

We figured out this advice on our own.  We lived it.  And twenty something years later we wrote a book on what we did with that advice.

I’m 39 now.  I have added more kids to our story (talking about you, Kes & Sunny).  I have married my husband, your dad, three times over the last twenty years since we are that in love.  And I’m now an author.

And for the first time after twenty two years of giving ourselves completely to raising you kids, we’re becoming Greg and Jenn again…

In just a few more months, Sunny – you will become our last legal adult kid.  And this signifies the final work we have to do to set you forth in the world.

For you and for us.

Becoming sort of roommates this last year we have allowed you the space and responsibility at your ages, and your life in college has clouded our boundaries as parents and kids.

Not in a bad way, more of a ‘have a ton of friends over, dirty dishes, messes, sleepovers, homework, not seeing you much anymore, and video games‘ versus ‘we just wanna walk around naked in our house without running into your friends, dinner for two, afternoon drives, date nights, overnight trips away, and drinks alone‘ kind of way.

With all of you now grown up, we’ve been able to spend the most time together as a couple than we have in years and have been able to decide what kind of life we want now that ya’ll don’t need us as much.

And after twenty two years of giving ourselves away,  I think that’s a fair trade.

We’re learning to leave you kids behind and pick up where we left off twenty two years ago.  We’re learning that this is hard and is almost like mourning.

We are also learning that it’s not too hard at the same time.  For the last year, we have been frustrated at how there is virtually no good way to do this.  I find it way more work than when we brought our first baby home as new parents (talking about you, Austin).

We have to let you go yet we will always be there for you.

We all have to let go of what we have been and become our own people for the first time since we started our family.

Thank you for changing our lives.