Whooah, we're half way there
Livin on a prayer
Take my hand and we'll make it I swear
Livin on a prayer
~ Chorus from Livin' On a Prayer by Richard Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child
Sometimes a song says it best. It's true; I've been a Jon Bon Jovi fan since the 7th grade, but when I heard this song on the radio as I drove home last night and I cranked it much louder than a middle-aged mom in a mini-van should ever crank any music and sang along for the umpteenth time, I took the words to heart and really heard the words of the song for the first time.
As I thought about these words, I was reminded of the wise words Will's aunt bestowed upon me over 15 years ago as she and I sat in a church pew during my brother-in-law's and sister-in-law's wedding rehearsal. She told me that a couple is made of two parts; one is the kite and one is the anchor. It won't work if both of the people in the relationship are kites or both are anchors; you'll either fly away and get tossed around at the will of the wind or not go anywhere and hold each other back.
I thought this was an interesting observation and have held on to this nugget of wisdom all these years, thinking of it from time to time, pegging someone a kite and another an anchor. But over the years what I have come to realize about this description is that this is only half of the story.
Here's the other half; the two parts, the kite and the anchor, are not always played by the same person; they are not lifetime roles. Sometimes the wife is the anchor and the husband is the kite; and sometimes the wife is the kite and the husband is the anchor. That's the beauty of it.
We all have times that we are barely hanging on, flitting this way and that in the high winds of indecision and doubt. Other times we are so rock solid that nothing can permeate our strong, protective layers. In these times, if we are each playing our respective parts, there is nothing that can break us or sever the ties that bind. Together, we are unsinkable.
The kite must trust the anchor and allow the anchor to hold tight during the storms of life. And the anchor must allow the kite to fly for a while and test the currents above, knowing that the kite will return and take on the anchor role when the winds shift.
Lately, it feels like we've been livin' on a prayer" for a while, but Baby, just take my hand, we're half way there. I can be the anchor right now. Over and out...
This post is dedicated to my alternating kite and anchor, Will, who I've been "livin' on a prayer" with for a long time and I'll keep taking my turn as kite and anchor for the rest of my days, and I know he will too; to my much loved brother-in-law and sister-in-law who seem to have forgotten to take turns being the kite and the anchor and need to be reminded; and my dear, wise aunt-in-law, Carol, who is most often the kite, but is fortunate to have found her anchor long ago. I love you all.
Note from Jan. 6. 2012: When I published this, I found out that my husband nor my in-laws had ever heard this story about the kite and the anchor, but the wise Aunt did remember telling me that story. The rest of the Berend family was impressed with her wisdom.