My husband and I have been married for seven and a half years. We started dating when we were in college, continued our relationship long-distance during my two years of graduate school in another state, and got married when I moved back to Oklahoma.
During the early days of dating and marriage (the pre-children era) we had oodles of time and were blissfully unaware of how much time we had. Want to go see a movie? Sure! Want to go to dinner? Sure! Want to go to the gym? Sure! Want to go to Dallas for the weekend? Sure! The world was our oyster.
But once someone sees you poop, vomit, pee, and cry (simultaneously, I might add, as I did during childbirth) it tends to change things. Having two babies within two years changes things. The days of longingly staring into each other’s eyes over an evening glass of wine at dinner were replaced by nursing one baby and feeding another, all while cleaning up spills, balancing plates, trays, sippy cups, blankies, and binkies. At the end of the day, when I had a total of exactly four hours of sleep over the past week, my priorities were sleep, sleep, and sleep. If I felt extra fancy I would clean the spit-up off my shirt before collapsing into bed, but truthfully I saved that for special occasions.
Somewhere in the middle of it all, we lost each other a little.
Which brings me to today. Thanks to Fall Break and our children’s preschool remaining open, we suddenly found ourselves with FIVE AND A HALF HOURS of unscheduled, kid-free time. Whoa.
We decided to go to the gym. Actually, my husband decided that and I crankily tagged along with the promise of Starbucks afterwards and the idea that I could at least watch Blacklist on my phone while on a stationary bike or something. Truthfully, I whined the whole way there and rebuffed my husband’s attempts at conversation. Once we were there, on a whim, we decided to play racquetball and I suddenly found myself on a racquetball court with my husband for the first time in roughly five years.
And then the last few years of back-to-back pregnancies, childbirth, weight gain and loss, sleepless nights, fatigue-fueled fights, potty training, endless poop clean-ups, financial stresses, etc, etc, etc kind of melted away.
And suddenly I was back on the court with the boy I fell in love with.
I realized who I had been missing and who I had forgotten to be. I realized that the man I now depend on to lovingly lead our family still has shades of the handsome boy I fell in love with almost ten years ago. And I realized that if I could choose whether or not to marry him all over again, I absolutely, 110% would. And underneath all of the exhaustion, fatigue, stress, and worries that parents sometimes face, underneath it all we are still just a boy and a girl who are madly in love. And that’s a good lesson to remember every now and then.