It used to be the crazy busy nights of getting ready to go out with friends or just to dinner.
Sometimes we traveled back to my college town or thereabouts to meet friends. Many times to the Big D, places with a wall full of beers on tap and pool tables filling one room. Sofas and bar stools scattered about that so many other people had lounged upon. A so-so band playing in the background and dirty bathrooms with names and numbers scratched into the walls.
Our days were filled with working and working out and studying and shopping at the mall, just the two of us. There were stresses and worries but they were different. Our home was a two-bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor, in which I loathed for grocery carrying and where we had crazy neighbors.
We rejoiced in our own accomplishments, excellent scores on CPA exams (Tim, not me), pay raises at work, losing weight, new cars…
We went to the movies a lot and traveled a bit. We got a dog that we just couldn’t keep and mourned the loss of our first “baby”. We fought over stupid things, like Tim spending too much time on the computer (ha!!!) and me spending too much money.
We strove for balance in this thing called marriage.
These days the crazy busy nights are coming home from a Friday night kid’s birthday party with sugared-up children and getting them into their jammies, and brushing their teeth and tucking them in.
Most nights are spent in our home, our bellies full of a home-cooked meal or sometimes chicken nuggets, and there are familiar comforts all around. Framed family pictures, blankets to cover our legs while snuggled up on the couch watching a movie here. Children’s artwork covering the fridge. Toys, so very many toys.
The bathrooms might still be a bit dirty but it’s just from the little boys that live in the house and it’s bearable and mostly easy to clean. There may be a few scribbles on the wall, still…. yes.
The new car is now old and full of cheerios on the floorboard and the back seat is lined with car seats. We travel as a family to the beach and instead of typing my way to success, I’m wiping noses and bottoms and squeezing ketchup on to their plates.
And when the man I love comes home and gently kisses my lips and we sigh as we relax into each others arms I know…
I KNOW why I married him 12 years ago.
And I look around at this life we have built together and my heart pretty much explodes, even if it is messy and chaotic at times.
I love you so much my Tim. Thank you for being the best partner I could ever have.