Why are all my Ex-es so Hot?

(and other thoughts on Marriage after baby)

The light drizzle that had started as I was hiking turns suddenly torrential, and I run to the shelter of the porch a few doors down from our family cabin. I look at the threatening clouds, deciding whether to try to run, when a clap of thunder stops me cold. The door of the cabin opens, and to my shock, my ex (Name withheld for privacy, and to make sure all my exes feel equal), steps onto the porch. With a confident glint in his eye, he says “Katie? I didn’t expect to see you up here? You look amazing.’ As the rain pours down around us, I briefly think of my husband and son, and wonder if they are worrying about me.

‘Come inside.” He says, “you’re soaking wet.”

We both know where this is going, and he grabs my hips like a tiger grabs his dinner.  I’m all over him like cream cheese icing on a Cinnabon, and he says my name over and over “Katie, Katie, Katie” and then strangely… “Mama, mama!” he’s yelling it now, and his voice is getting higher “Mama!”

“MMMMMAAAAA MAAA!”

The monitor lights screech red and green as my son screams me awake. Thrust back into my own life, I turn to see my smiling husband on one side, and my beloved two year old screaming through the video monitor from the other room.

‘Good morning’ says the father of my child, sweetly. ‘What were you dreaming about?”

‘Oh, nothing.’

What is it about marriage and children that makes a fantasy out of the life we lived before? What is it about knowing you’ve chosen one person to be with for the rest of your life, that makes every ex-boyfriend (or girlfriend) suddenly look like a Prince? Am I the only one that is having sex with all my exes in my dream world, and waking up wondering ‘what if?’

My coach in LA used to call it “comparison shopping lives.” And now with the wonders of Facebook, you can actually glimpse what it would have been like if you were still with so and so, or if you hadn’t broken up with such and such. I assure you, I have no intention of ever leaving my husband or child. In fact, I’m confident I will see this man sitting across from me on a porch swing in our Golden Years. So what is this desire to escape?

When I got married, I felt that I was closing so many doors. When I got pregnant, I felt like I locked each one behind me. There is nothing more permanent than a child.

That’s when the dreams began.

Like a rotating dance card, each ex made their way into my psyche, and into my bed, and I would wake up, sweating, nervous, and look sheepishly at my beloved.

I’m not sure what this is… this fantasy. It goes beyond the sex, it’s about what my life used to feel like, or at least a fantasy version of it.  Big Hollywood montage sequences dance through my head: Me, running on the beach, me: writing in a journal, me: sitting on a lifeguard stand as the sun sets, wrapped up in a hoodie, not a care in the world, letting time pass like it was in endless supply. I know that’s not actually what life felt like at that time. I remember I was sitting on that lifeguard stand looking longingly at the couple and young child playing in the waves in front of me, wondering when my life would be complete.

Last month I did a Kids Yoga training, and the teacher taught a story about meditation. The master was explaining the key to happiness to his students: when I walk, I walk. When I eat dinner, I eat dinner. When I meditate, I meditate. When I sleep I sleep. The students said ‘we do the same!” “no, said the master: when you walk, you think about dinner, when you eat dinner, you think about meditation, when you meditate you think about sleep, and when you sleep, you think about ex-boyfriends.” (or something like that)

What would it look like to wake up each morning so filled with bliss and gratitude for your own life,  instead of looking to see if someone else got a better order than you? What would it be to trust that everything is working out perfectly? What would it be to know that your beloved was divinely chosen to fully match you on every level, and teach you what it means to love? What would it be like to communicate to your family that there is no place you would rather be on earth than right there with them.

I guess that would be enlightenment. Or something close to it.

I realize more and more that the love each person gave to me along the way helped me become the woman I am now.  And perhaps that is part of the dreaming, and diving back into those other lives.  It’s to reconnect to the person that I became in the arms of that lover.  To honor what they saw in me, and helped me see in myself.  To remember lessons we learned together, about love, what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do.

This is my path. When I walk, I walk. When my mind slips away, I watch the slipping away. And I return to the walking. And when I look at my husband, I see a person who loves me, even with my slippery mind, and my funny ex-boyfriend dreams, and I am grateful.   Grateful for this man who is spacious and strong.  Grateful to those that loved me enough to teach me how to be a better partner.  Grateful for all the breakdowns and break-ups that led me right here.

And even though I sometimes want to run from it… I am grateful for my life.

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. alison rogers
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 10:56:30

    Funny, I woke up this morning having dreamed there was a baby crying. I went to him and saw my now grown son as a baby boy with cheeks pink from crying standing in his crib with arms raised to be picked up and comforted. When I had babies crying in cribs, I used to dream of Thoreau-like cabins that were empty.

    Reply

  2. Joe Valley
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 11:02:19

    I don’t know about all of your ex-es, but Mr. Hilfiger-underpants-in-back-seat-of-red-convertable is smokin’. I mean, I can see what a woman might think, er…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: