I am going to level with you: I’m not exactly the woman you married. She had her act together. She did not have stretch marks. She showered precisely any time she wanted to. Crazy, right? When did she find the time? Indulgent wench. This season of life is tricky. What used to be sweet, flirty text exchanges now read a little something like this:
Did you call the guy about the thing?
Emergency: Please bring home Chipotle. Dinner is inedible (again).
Pleeeease tell me you DVR’d Scandal.
Let me also let you in on a little secret (that I tell absolutely anyone who will listen, because let’s face it, secrets are not my forte): There is no one on this planet I love more. I don’t care whether we’re watching Finding Dory for the 8567th time or wiping yet another little person’s tush, I am irrevocably obsessed. Another secret? This is purely intentional. I have a reason for loving you most – despite loving and living for our two children. It’s all because of Aunt Sylvia.
At my baby shower, Aunt Sylvia bestowed upon me the most unsolicited piece of advice I’d ever received. “No matter how much you love your children, you must love your husband more.” Hold on. What? Someone take away Sylvia’s mimosa. “Wow, thanks Aunt Sylvia (who I made up for the purpose of this blog post) but that was the worst advice ever given to anyone, ever. Your wisdom is trash. Good day.” Though her delivery and timing might have been off (nothing like telling a 9-months-pregnant woman not to love her children most, right?) she was on to something.
You and I started this whole thing. This amazing, loud, beautiful group of people who fill our backseat? We made it. Our family didn’t start when our children were born, it started the day we chose one another. The day I decided I wanted to share everything with you; a mortgage, children, a very fancy washer dryer set I insisted upon having. You, with blue cheese on your cheek and a frosted mug of Blue Moon. I’ve had no clearer direction in my life than, “I need to be that man’s family.” And then came babies, and sleepless nights, and – of course – the washer dryer. It is the busiest, sometimes most challenging season and often at the end of a long day of pouring out love for our children, it becomes hard to reserve space for one another. But I do anyway, because I love you most.
And one day, because parenthood is amazing and cruel, this season will end. We will drop them off at Harvard or The School for Enthusiastic Whistlers, or wherever their sweet and amazing souls decide is worthy of our life’s savings. After I’ve stocked their fridge, interrogated the RA, double-checked the smoke detectors, and hugged them with the force of two decades of undying, motherly love… we will leave. They will leave us, because that is the point. We will have worked ourselves out of a job. They will always be our babies (a fact I will frantically remind them of when they take longer than an hour to respond to my texts). And sure, there will be Thanksgivings and weddings and grand-babies. But I will no longer tuck them in, make their lunches, watch their perfect lashes hit their cheeks as they fall asleep. This season we are in right now is fleeting, and I’m afraid to blink, because it will be gone.
Sooner than we know, it will be just how we started: Just us two. I’m not sure what we’ll do. Finally go to Paris? Take a cooking class? Binge watch HGTV? I don’t know. I just know that when all of this is said and done, it will be you and I left to finish the story.
This is why, my sweet and hysterical partner, I still make a point to choose you daily. Because you were my family first, and will be last. And whether it’s buying a washing machine, having a baby, or flying to Paris, every season with you is my favorite.