Two years ago I wrote this. And I posted this which I had written before I maintained a blog. Last year I wrote this. This year, well, this year I don't even know what to say.
It's true. I miss that first year. I miss the butterflies and weak kneedness of it all. I wish I could have bottled that crazy desire I had to be standing by Troy's side every minute of every day. I should have videotaped the fireworks. I probably ought to have, at least, taken a picture of my knight when he rode in on a white stallion. That was back when it was all fun and games and What movie do you want to see? and Wanna get away for the weekend? and lingerie.
On occasion, I am hit with the smell of aftershave and it propels me back into that first year. It seemed like our biggest dilemma was what to make for dinner or, very rarely, how to learn to coexist with all that weirdness under one roof. Obviously, there are times when I wish, for just one day, I could time travel. Perhaps, just for a few moments, I could feel butterflies flapping around in the pit of my stomach and catch a glimpse of that white stallion.
You see, we had to sell that horse--and the shining armor--to pay for fertility treatment. Six years later, we're not living in the middle of a fairytale. Six years later it's vomit and legal fees and Let's not start a movie, I'm exhausted and Wanna get away for five minutes? I'll wrangle the children if you want to squeeze in a shower! and Hanes Her Way underwear that I've probably had since before Garrett was born.
Once I asked Troy if he missed the days of feeling butterflies in the pit of his stomach when he saw me. He pulled me into a kiss and then, "Sometimes," he whispered, "I still do." The fact of the matter is that I do too. On very rare occasions. If, say, I've been away and the plane lands and I look down at the shiny mechanics of the baggage claim and see him waiting for me. I'd be lying if I said my stomach didn't flip. But, for the most part, those flops have been replaced with comfort.
Comfort. A good pair of Hanes Her Way underwear. An old dog lying in front of a fireplace. The familiar smell of a cabin returned to in the summers and left as autumn draws near. The arm around the waist. The one that doesn't neccessarily elicit the misfiring of nerve endings anymore but brings a calm assurance of the fact that I am deeply loved. Comfort in the memories of six years of marriage. Comfort in the smiles of our boys and the endured pain we've felt bringing them into this family. Comfort in watching all that water rushing under the bridge.
I was madly in love with my husband on the day I married him. But I was playing in the breakers. Now I swim with him in the deep blue sea of life, love and affection. It's fun playing in the waves but past them is where it all really begins. It is mysteriously calm and comfortable but there is a depth, an understanding, a delicate dance of sand and water and life. Out here the sky touches the ocean and we swim toward the horizon. Out here, it seems, we don't exist without the other.
Some days I wish I could tap into that initial firework explosion. But only for a moment. Because the truth is, I wouldn't trade the vomit for the firework show. I wouldn't change the pain of making our family because then I wouldn't have the smiles that greet us in the morning. I wouldn't even want to be able to go catch a movie if it meant that I'd miss the contented look on my husband's face while he sleeps. The truth is, I love it this way.
The dynamics have surely changed. But what remains is that I am madly in love with the man that I married six years ago. Sometimes, when I've got a kid under each arm, ten bills in one hand and a broom in the other, I catch sight of that man walking through the door after work and I turn my head to one side. I wonder, is this real? Because, you see, everything I've dreamed of is suddenly right before my eyes.
Happy anniversary, Troy. I love you. Ever so much more now then I did six years ago.