I was watching one of my favorite stand up comics, Bill Engvall (Here's your sign) on Sunday, and he was talking about his sex life with his wife. He said a friend of his gave him a book on tantric sex, which he found amazing but impractical, because, having kids, "you don't have tantric sex. You have frantic sex!"
Amidst my howling laughter, my two children, ages 13 and 16, both in deep denial that their parents are anything other than lumps of matter that bring home groceries and pay the heat bill, looked at me in horror. (If you have teens, you know that look.) And it occurred to me that, in all of the reading I've done, all of the romantic movies I've watched, there's never a movie that shows romance with a couple much beyond the wedding.
MAYBE there's a baby involved. MAYBE a too-cute-for-words precocious preschooler (Jerry MacQuire anyone?) but you simply do not see a romantic movie or book where the couple in question has children over the age of five.
Rasing children isn't romantic. MAKING children is romantic. Some would say birthing children is romantic (Not in my case. It was a lot of screaming, sweating, gooing, howling, and puking. Not romantic. Not sexy.) But everyone agrees, raising children is not romantic. It's hard work. It's brutal, back breaking work that shatters your confidence to the core.
I have teens. I married my best friend and partner and we are now raising teens. After nearly twenty years of marriage, the only thing we have issues with is the kids. And the older they get, the more independent they get, the more stressful it is.
Case in point: When the kids are little, you think, "Oh, if only they would be independent, then I won't be so tired and we can have 'adult time' when they're in bed."
Then those kids get to be teens. They go places where they need rides to and from. So, hold off opening that bottle of wine because you don't know when that phone call is going to come for a ride. Or worse...they get their license! NOW, don't open that bottle of wine and STAY CLOTHED because you don't know when you're going to get A PHONE CALL at all!
And curfew...when the kids were little, we'd put them to bed at 8 or 9 and have some time to ourselves. Nope. Now, on weekends, we flip a coin to see who's going to stay awake until midnight to wait for the boy to get in.
Recently we thought we had all the planets aligned. Boy child in his basement room, deep in a school project. Girl child in bed. Not too late where we're exhausted. A glass of wine to mellow the mood. Door locked. All systems GO!
Then there was a light knock at our door. It was the girl. Since the boy moved downstairs, our house is REALLY quiet at night. Normally I watch TV in the livingroom until everyone else is asleep. Not on this night. I'd turned it off. Girl child was feeling lonely...and wanted me to keep our door open so she could hear the movie I had on our bedroom dvd player. (I think it was "A Good YEar." I love falling asleep to Russell Crowe talking about vineyards in FRance.)
WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?
So much for romance.
So my friends, here's a challenge: After you've purchased "Dream in Color" either from Wild Rose or Amazon or Barnes and Noble, write a romance about a couple raising teens. Make the love scene steamy, realistic, and longer than one sentence. Good luck!