Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Bearded Birthday!

Corey is now 37. He says he is going through a mid-life crisis of sorts. His main symptom is that he has continually been caught be surprise by sudden downpours of childhood nostalgia....his own and that of our children. Our kids are growing up too fast. He mourns the moments that he missed while he was overwhelmingly busy during his medical training and experiences preemptive lamentations envisioning the upcoming years when the kids will leave. Reflecting on his own happy childhood, he misses those days when stress was fixing a wheel on his skateboard. I know how men prefer not to be dissected emotionally and so I will put down my scalpel. But let me just say one thing.....I like this "crisis".

Corey doesn't quite fit any of the diagnostic criteria given by Carl Jung, the father of mid-life crisis. But Mr. Jung did say something that seems applicable in Corey's particular situation.
"If we can be honest about our painful and confusing feelings, mid-life can be a time for reassessment and reappraisal, a learning period providing the opportunity to change. We may become more interested in exploring parts of ourselves that we have lost touch with, develop a greater self-knowledge and sense of inner strength, and be less dependent on the approval of others. We may express hidden skills and creativity. Many people also find that their relationships become deeper and more rewarding."

Since Corey's last birthday, he has, I believe, done a bit of reassessing and reappraising of his life. He has done things that he has never done before, or at least as long as I've known him. It has been a busy year, but Corey is doing a great job of more than making up for those lost moments when the kids were smaller. I would call it more of a mid-life catharsis.

NOVEMBER: Corey agreed to a SPONTANEOUS trip to Utah for Thanksgiving. He bought his plane ticket minutes after the initial discussion and I was on the road less than 24 hours later. It was so un-adult and a bit irresponsible. I was impressed.

DECEMBER: The first time he was able to use his snow blower, Corey was as giddy as a boy with a new remote control car. 6 feet of snow later, he wasn't as excited and the snow blowing became a tedious chore keeping him from time on the slopes.
JANUARY: He painted our room, assembled elaborate shelving in his office, and created a work-out room in the basement. All of his fort-building experience is paying off.

FEBRUARY: He built a fire and roasted marshmallows in the snow. I didn't have enough childhood nostalgia to join him. Many basketball games were watched while wrestling with the kids. Non-stop squealing and giggling echoed through the house.
MARCH: Corey installed a passenger seat on his self-built bike. He took the kids for rides in the snow.
APRIL: He took us all to Hawaii, wore a floral lei without even a slight wilt in his masculinity, and threw a spear as effortlessly as tossing a coin...coming oh, so close to winning the Haole Spear Title. Corey and I later took a trip to Colorado Springs for some advanced Radiological training. He played hooky one day and hung out with me at an old abandoned prison. It was so James Dean of him.

MAY: Corey rolled down hills with the kids on a Sunday afternoon and didn't throw up. He swallowed his environmental objections of the game of recreational coma....I mean golf....and actually completed nine holes.

JUNE: Corey biked 400 miles from Spokane to Boise and stopped to have fun with us along the way. He bought a PYRO pack of fireworks and I think I might be developing a little crush.
JULY: He really shows his soft and cuddly side by hunting down a kitten...(for the kids, ahem).

AUGUST: We went to the Oregon Coast and Corey walked barefoot down the street, let the tide trap us, believed in ghosts, and let ME give HIM a piggy back ride. ...for about 2 feet.

August also brought a slack line to our back yard where Corey could practice his slacking. Again, I am impressed by his intentions of being a slacker.

SEPTEMBER: Corey went on a bike ride with the entire bike-riding community of Spokane. He finished in time for me to do it as well. He organized our family weekend excursions, packed picnics, went on some roads that I don't think he would have gone on if he wasn't in the midst of a mid-life catharsis, and destroyed his tire. He starts growing a beard and keeps growing a beard mainly because I told him he couldn't do it (He says it is to keep his face warm for skiing, but I think he finally can't resist a dare).

OCTOBER: Corey realized that I should go to Europe before I die (a sense of mortality IS indication of mid-life crisis) and took me to Italy for Nine Days (blog coming shortly). He moon walked in St. Marks Square.....

was my willing partner in the inconspicuous craft of photographing the stereotypical Italian male...

and navigated the maps, train schedule, and tour books like a real boy scout.

Corey, you are growing up and growing down at the same time.

You have perfected the art of a mid-life crisis.

Happy Rebirthday


melissa said...

Oh Vanessa, how I wish I could say things the way you say them. What a perfect celebration of your husband. I will not let Scott read this, he will know I am slacking as his wife.

Seems you two are in a great moment right now. Enjoy.

Can't wait to hear about Italy!

Curtis said...

Happy birthday bro. Nice beard.

And Veep--you stated it all so nicely.

Joal said...

Aw, what a cutie. Happy middle-agedness Big Guy. In that picture of the moon walk in Venice, he looks so intense, almost menacing. Maybe it's the beard. I've heard facial hair on men can cause all kinds of deviant behaviors...

Christensen family said...

Seriously what a great tribute to your bearded husband. I loved reading every word. You have such a way with words...I'll be watching for a book to be coming out written by YOU!!!!