Tag Archives: True Love

18 Years of Best and Worst

You greeted me this morning with “By the way…” then gave me a passionate kiss.

My hands were full of dirty laundry. My heart was pounding frantically as I rushed to get us all out the door for an early morning dr’s appointment. My mind was overflowing with forms to finish and children to dress and snacks to pack. My hair was a frizzy mess. My glasses askew. My eyes still gritty with sleep.

I wasn’t my best me.

I’ll admit, my first reaction wasn’t entirely positive. I’m not a morning person. I have tunnel vision when I’m in a hurry. And I don’t like to be interrupted at the best of times. Which is why we don’t usually make out in the hallway in the middle of the morning rush.

As you grabbed me, I thought “What the…” As you leaned in, I thought “Really?!” I may have even growled under my breath.

I have so much to do. All the time. Most of it is important, or at least seems important at the time. And it never stops. Not when you get home from work. Not after “bedtime.” Not on summer holidays. I don’t get it all done. I don’t even try most days. But it’s always there, hanging over my head.

This is a particularly busy season of life. For people who once enjoyed sleeping in, lazy days and reading for hours, the past decade has been an adjustment. We’re often snappy and overwhelmed. We’re usually sticky and smelly. And we’re almost always exhausted.

We’re not our best us.

We’re parents. Parents of young children, at that. This isn’t a crisis or a problem, or even a surprise. This is just the way life goes. It’s easy to get stuck in survival mode.

But I kissed you back, in the middle of the chaos, and by the end I was smiling.

Because you are still so good at that! It wasn’t something I thought I needed or wanted right then, but, boy, was I wrong. It’s one of those important things, that doesn’t seem urgent, but probably is.

Sometimes I forget to kiss you. Or hold your hand. Or tell you the ways you are wonderful.

That just won’t do. This year, I promise to kiss you every time you leave me and every time you return. Because “being us,” even in the middle of chaos, is a habit worth pursuing. We need it more than ever these days.

18 years ago today we promised to love each other, at our best AND at our worst.

Not just when it’s expected. Or easy. Or convenient.

We have some pretty great moments – romantic moments, life-affirming-can-you-believe-how-awesome-our-family-is moments, inside joke/kindred spirit moments, laugh-until-we-cry moments… but I think it’s the not-so-easy ones that matter the most.

This is when I know you love all of me, the parts that aren’t so pretty or so fun (or so rational if I’m honest). Not in the gushy, I just-FEEL-so-loving-towards-you way… but in the I’ll-stick-around-and-won’t-just-take-your-crap-and-will-hash-it-out-and-forgive-and-apologize-and-hug-you-anyway.

And I love you that way too!

For Better or For Worse.

Happy Anniversary to the best man I know!

xoxo

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Eat Your Heart Out Mona Lisa

I hate looking at pictures of myself.

It comes second only to listening to my voice on the answering machine in the line up of cringe-worthy activities-to-avoid-at-all-costs.But when I came across this Writing Challenge: tell the true story behind the picture of a smile, I knew immediately which story to tell.

Because I remember exactly what this little girl was thinking in this moment.

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YOU!

I’m so glad to see you!

You look great.

In fact, you’ve never looked better to me!

I’ve missed you! I know it’s only been a day, but what a day.

I have so much to tell you. Nothing seems real until I tell you.

Have you seen my Grandma’s hat? All blue feathers. You’re going to laugh. But try to be cool. She’s awfully proud of it. It’s cute.

Guess what we did last night? My cousins and I pulled out Mom’s wedding gown and her bright yellow bridesmaid’s dress from Aunt Lois’ wedding. We tried them on and looked at pictures and giggled like crazy.

I couldn’t eat at all this morning, I was so nervous. And I just wanted to talk to you and I needed you to hold my hand and make me laugh. But I sucked it up and pasted on a smile and tried not to throw up.

Everything feels right again now.

You always make me feel better.

I have so much to tell you. It’s only been a day, but what a day.

There are so many people here. Our whole gang from highschool is here. I even saw some friends we haven’t seen since graduation. Did you see Jason? He looks like a movie theatre usher. He’s wearing a bright red suit jacket. Of course he is.

There’s family here I haven’t spoken to since I was little. Yes, I consider third and fourth cousins family no matter how much you roll your eyes.

Also, it’s weird to have your parents together under one roof, isn’t it? But everyone seems pretty happy, so don’t start getting stressed.

There was some kind of problem with the decorations. And you’d think that kind of thing would make me nuts – you know how I get. But after all the planning and the choosing and the fussing and the debating and the detailed schedules with each person’s part carefully highlighted, I don’t actually care about any of it.

I’m just SO glad to see you!

Can you believe we’re doing this?

I’m trying to pay attention now.

Come on, Christie, get it together.

Mostly I’m waiting until we can leave. And it can be just us again.

Just us from now on.

Just us forever.

It’s only a day, but it’s OUR day.

I’m so absurdly happy that I get to keep you!

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So here’s me, still a grinning-like-a-fool bride. That cute boy is still my best friend. And as I’m sure you can imagine, he does a lot of listening.


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