This year we celebrated 7 years of marriage. 7 beautiful years full of adventure. Our adventures are getting even bigger by the minute. As the day approaches that we will be bringing our 3rd girl in 3.5 years into this world I think about our first few years together. Frivolous, selfish, thrill seeking years of late nights and long trips. I sit here thinking this, wearing 3 day old yoga pants and hair in the same ratty top knot from yesterday, and wondering if you ever wish we could go back. I wonder if you ever feel like you lost me somewhere along the way. These days are hard and it takes it toll. If you feel this way it’s ok, sometimes on my most difficult days I feel that too. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our life or cherish these passing moments. It just means what we had was so wonderful and even though these times might be “better” it doesn’t discredit that it would be nice to go back to a simpler, easier time. In these trying years of having small kids it’s nice to think about sometimes.
We love our kids, we spend every waking moment with our kids and we wouldn’t have it any other way, but with that choice comes a huge sacrifice. In these years when our kids are so small and need so much from us what we give each other is just a little less. It doesn’t mean my love or passion or desire to be your wife has diminished, it just means that in the realm of priorities, fancy dinners, new outfits and intimate evenings rank somewhat lower on the list. Still existent just much, much lower than they used to be. When our daughters are getting new teeth and all I’ve had are little hands grabbing for me all day I’m sorry if I don’t want to be touched at night. When sleepless nights cause us both to be irritable I’m sorry we aren’t our jovial selves, kissing and laughing into the late hours. When our patience runs so thin, I’m sorry that all we want to do is zone out in front of the TV when the kids go to bed. When I’ve just finished my sixth load of laundry I’m sorry if I look somewhat like a walking dead extra when you walk in the door. I will wear the same thing over and over again if it means I don’t have to do one more load!
What’s the light at the end of the tunnel? These days will end and with that we will be extremely happy and extremely sad.
Yes, we will have more freedom but less little arms reaching up to be held.
We will have more sleep but less cuddle sessions at 5am having the sweet scent of their hair in our face.
We will have more patience but the children will have less patience for us and much more independence.
We will have more time to look “put together” but we certainly will be sad that these moments, when they needed us so much, passed so quickly.
Today I sat in the car driving to my midwife appointment. In between the Elsa serenades and screaming I decided to turn on the radio. Taylor Swift was on. My first reaction was “great the girls love her songs maybe I can get some quiet”. It worked. What I didn’t expect was how this song would make me feel. How the tears would quickly stream down my face under my sunglasses. I’ve heard Wildest Dreams a million times but I never heard it like this:
Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
Maybe it’s because I worry about who I have lost or scared of who I have become. These words touched me. The girl that you married 7 years ago, the one standing in front of you in a nice dress, red lips and rosy cheeks is buried in runny noses, sticky kisses and 3 day old yoga pants. She is still there, somewhere. Hold on to those dreams, those days of frivolous adventure. Remind me often, especially on days that I’ve been confined to the house and my patience has been tested for the hundredth time. Those days did exist and they will be back. Maybe not in the exact same way, but they will be back. As much as I long for them and for you I will be sad to see these years go, as it’s a sign that a very difficult yet beautiful chapter has come to a close. Raising little ones is so very hard and yet I insanely admit I love it.
I guess in all this I want you to know how much I love you. How I love you for the sacrifice you make everyday. How I love you when you wake to rock Edith in the middle of the night. How I love you when you sit reading Lucille the same book over and over again just because she asked. How I love you when you let the girls jump all over you, laughing and giggling with not a care in the world even though I know you are tired from a long day of work. Maybe those things don’t define a “traditional relationship”. Maybe some would argue that we don’t put in enough work, there isn’t enough “us” time, that this isn’t healthy, giving everything to our children. This is, and always will be,our choice and our love and it’s beautiful just the way it is. Maybe we don’t get as many date nights but those quiet evenings on the couch mean everything to me. I know they do to you too. When you smile at me from across the room, without a word or even a touch I know you love me. Thank you. Thank you, from the weight gaining pregnant lady covered in Peanut Butter. Thank you for those nights, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset and thank you for the nights with no lip stick and no rosy cheeks. You see me, the deepest depths of my soul, the beautiful free sprit, even if its just in your wildest dreams.