Remember the ancient Chinese prover? Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for a life-time?
Well, I think I'm living this metaphor. Or at least, that's one of the ways I'm currently viewing my relationship, living in France in general, and being a single woman. I accept and honor that I choose to be here and with this person.
And yet, (a big) part of me would just love it if someone (he) would take the load off, share the burdens of this life, let me sleep late, take care of repairing my car, be a strong presence in the life of my kids (wouldn't it be nice to share that educating and disciplining role?) etc.,
Ahhh I can dream. But, that's what you do for a child, not for an adult. Yes, it is far more lasting to be pushed to cope on my own, to learn how to fish, much as I squirm and resist at times. But clearly, I'm also aware of my learning curve in this area (somewhere in my subconscious).
I receive suggestions: "when you talk to your mechanic, list all that needs doing, and ask for an estimate (the all important word 'devis') before bringing your car to him." Done and handled, repaired and paid for. All by my lonesome. Goodness, I feel like I just added a year to my maturity level.
And I receive encouragement, and periodic praise as I do my best to raise my kids on my own : "tes enfants se sont bien comportés à table l'autre soir." Um, yeah, it's amazing what eating with your kids every night (or nearly) for two years can do... glad you noticed. And yes, I did it pretty much by myself with some help from the other kids I care for, my mother in the summer, ...
Okay, I can still be sarcastic. But fear where my kids are concerned is something I've learned to accept and carefully chisle away at... We're getting there: one weekend/evening/outing/meal at a time.
In the meantime, tourism has picked up. Lovely folks are coming to Provence, and I've a new neighbor with whom I can carpool. Yippee! Just call me an enthusiastic maturing adult with a very active inner child.
And actually, I'm a pretty good fisher woman -- my brother taught me long ago: I can filet, clean, behead, scale and de-fin with the best of them.