I fell in love with my husband when I was fifteen years old. I believe that I saw it then, the potential of him and who he would be, and what he would come to mean to me. Some 33 years ago now, and counting.
We didn’t date in high school. We were friends. I remember going over to his house once, only once, and he put on a record for me to listen to. It was Kate Bush, her Hounds of Love album, and the next week he brought me a copy of it, recorded onto an audiocassette, just because I had commented how much I liked it.
No matter the number of years that went by after high school, when I ran into any former classmate, I would ask after him. Imagine my excitement when he found me in late 2002 and asked me out to dinner. I was only 1,500 miles away by then. In flyover country. Three weeks later he came for a visit. And six weeks after that he moved here.
It isn’t our anniversary. It isn’t his birthday or mine or the anniversary of us reconnecting after nearly two decades apart. And today was a normal day, filled with tasks and “to do’s” and nothing particularly special.
So why do I find myself writing about him, about us, on my DIY and gardening blog? Because today was a wonderful day – just because I woke up next to him, spent the day with him, and we did the normal stuff we do every weekend.
Cooking dinner together.
Every morning he makes me coffee. Together we sit, our kiddos sleepily cuddling up under blankets, mugs in hand, the four of us in our cozy library. One of us shares a dream we had. Or we talk about the day to come, what we need to do, where we need to go. We plan our day, volunteer for some tasks and are voluntold to do others.
Later, after breakfast and lunch and mounds of laundry and even a visit to the Fairy Princess with the little one, we begin to plan the meals for the week.
“We need to go grocery shopping but first we really need to go play some pinball. Just the two of us,” I tell him.
He laughs, pleasantly surprised at my suggestion, and smiles at me, “That sounds like a wonderful idea.”
We furtively escape to Tapcade for a couple of drinks and some pinball. We guiltily run off after an hour of frenzied playing of my favorite, The Addams Family.
Dave told me that while he watched me play and saw the fierce joy on my face as the machine lit up with a multiball he was determined to buy me one for my very own. “But they start at $10,000, Babe, and I figured you’d skin me alive if I spent that much on you right now.”
How I would love that game, but now is not the time for such frivolities.
We talk about the game room we will have once we finish renovating the two Cottages and begin work on our own house, finishing out the attic into a private master suite. “We can turn our current double bedroom into the game room,” I told him the other day, “We will put a bar-size pool table in the farthest room and the nearer room will hold the Addams Family pinball machine and air hockey table.”
Dave grins and reminds me that he also wants The Walking Dead pinball machine.
But it isn’t just the things we dream of, it’s those moments where we can’t help but laugh.
Today, after he let our little foster daughter out of her chair I rushed to the sink to moisten a cloth to wash her face. Teasing me, he stood in front of the sink, allowing only a tiny stream of water before shutting it off. Twice he did this before I began beating him with the partially damp washcloth, both of us laughing.
He’s the guy who cleans out the stopped up sink drain without complaint, even when it involves digging out the nastiness with his fingers. And we parent the little one, who is as repetitive as a parrot and annoying as hell at times, in relays – the other one stepping in to spell the first.
In the middle of cooking dinner he stopped to call his parents and thank them for not murdering him during this stage of his childhood. “I don’t know how you managed not to throttle me, but thank you,” he says as I giggle in the background.
It is moments like this, after I have listed just the dusting of sugar on top of this relationship that is good and deep and everything I dreamed it could be that I don’t want to imagine ever losing this. I want him by my side, for decades to come, where we can continue to fall in love, over and over again, with each other.
I don’t just wish it for me. I wish it for you as well. Find that person who makes you laugh and holds you when you cry. Find that person, and love them as fiercely as possible, laugh as often as you can, and hold steady during those rocky moments.
I wish for you what I have. It took a long time for us to find each other again, and for both of us to grow together to the couple we are now. But I’m here to tell you that it was worth every minute of it.