Saturday, October 22, 2011

My husband.

I took my children to the park yesterday.  We raced down slides, accosted every person with a dog, climbed too high on the monkey bars, and laughed in the brilliance of a carefree day.  As I pushed them higher and higher on the tire swing, singing happy birthday brilliantly off key, my husband came and slid his arm around me.  Soft and sweet, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me gently.  He'd been out of town for the past two days and finally caught up with us at the park.  I said hi, brushed him off, and refocused my attention on the kids.  Off and on through the night, he'd come close and I would push him away.  I knew I was being distant and I found myself frustrated with him, frustrated with myself and not really understanding why I had a wall built between us.

I could easily remember five years ago when we were living in Madison WI.  Running from the rain into old bookstores, reading on the same pier on which we would later promise forever.  Living, abandoned to our lives, joy, and passions, fully consumed with the other.  Our tiny apartment, where we would talk late into the night and wake too early to watch the people walking through the snow below, on their way to lives and jobs.  Fully catering to the other, eager to please, fascinated with the glee we found in our existence together.  

Fast forward to now, when dishes stack up, the weight of life, children, work, and constant giving out leave us empty and unable to stir up a wisp of desire for the other.  I went to bed last night, after pulling out of my funk.  Apologizing for my weirdness, we slept, our feet curled around each other and two children in between.  I felt heavy and sad.  It's easy to understand where the passion has gone, it's buried somewhere between familiarity and never enough time (alone).  It's easy to justify my pushing away when I feel constantly pressed upon to care for all the corners of our world and I've just finished doing it alone.  And it is easy to realize that if I allow this chasm between us to settle, uncrossed, unfilled, it will simply grow until the other side no longer becomes recognizable and we've buried ourselves in our separate islands of solitude.  Each caring for the family from their own retreat and the others sacrifice and effort becomes unrecognizable in the light of our own.

I could sigh and tell myself this is life.  It's what it's like with kids.  It's understandable, everyone goes through it.  Don't worry, don't press myself to change.  Eventually the kids will grow.  The season will shift and we'll find ourselves again.  But then, I have to think, that is when people look at their spouse and say 'who are you?  I don't know you anymore.'  And they turn and go their separate ways.
We are coming up on 5 years of marriage.  5 years, and for 4 1/2 of them we've been filled with the weight of pregnancy and kids.  We've moved 6 times and we have explored and journeyed through the far corners of this country.  We have crashed through waves.  Tag teamed in the middle of the night when colic and the flu kept us up through streaks of dawn.  We have chased through soaring redwoods.  Driven down endless stretches of winding highway.  We have climbed highest peaks.  We have shared each dream, each direction, each passion, each ambition.  We have lived fully, together.

I can say there is no one else I would rather spend my days.  There is no one else who causes my heart to drop when I see their face.  There is no one else who I love more completely, more desperately with all of my being.  And I never want there to be another.  This is it.  All of it.  This is my life and it is irrevocably connected to this man.  I would never change that. 

So, in this place I must shift.  I must transform.  I am challenging myself these 90 days to strengthen my health, to increase our finances, to promote awareness and I am going to add, to focus wholeheartedly on my marriage.  To not allow it to pass unnoticed, but to pour my affection, and attention into it.  To give of myself, without looking for repercussion.   To not allow the frustration of yesterdays, the why did you's or why nots or how comes, keep me from being free in the moment.  

Isn't that what new love is?  The dramatic fascination of another without the weight of broken promises, lack, or frustration hindering its rampant desire.  A blank slate.  The ability to love completely, without thought of the past.

Surprisingly enough I feel a curling of excitement.  Knowing that I am choosing to rewrite my thought process.  To do something new and not settle for the every day.  To live not out of reaction, but action.  

To each of you, may your days be filled with joy.


Nichole said...

This is a great blog and a good reminder. You are wonderful my friend and I love to read the things you have to say.

Lacy Fontaine Remebering What Makes Life Wonderful said...

Wow, seriously this sounds like a something I would read out of a Jane Austen book! I love this and I love you guys!! Your so amazing together!

charis said...

just got around to reading this and i want to say thank you for your reminder to what i want to value most. i read so much of myself in your words.