It’s not that you’re not in love, it’s just that love becomes so ordinary, like peanut butter and jam on toast for breakfast, every single day, when sometimes you need Eggos with blueberry syrup.
Or a walk in the autumn leaves without children underfoot. Just you, and him, remembering when it was always just you and him. Not four little boys between the two of you, only chemistry and a bottle of wine and Bon Jovi on the radio.
It doesn’t have to be much, just enough to remember.
We sit on the couch every night before bed and watch a show or two—“Una mas (one more)?” we say playfully after the first episode of Big Bang or The Office or Numbers ends—and there’s never enough time, it seems. The night is so short, and the morning comes so soon, and we’re always so tired. But still, we must remember.
The love that made these children because one day—eventually, I promise—we’ll miss those kids that make us want to pull out our hair, and we’ll stare into the aging face of a spouse who shares our bed and bank account and we’ll find ourselves talking about the kids. Because what else is there to talk about?
So let’s talk about something else, before it’s too late.
Let’s make those moments. The kind of moments that play cards at a rustic wooden table in a pub, drinking a pitcher of Rickard’s Red. The kind that walk the boardwalk—“I didn’t even know we had a boardwalk,” you might say-because it’s been so long, but at least you’re doing it now.
On a recent flight to a conference I sat beside a man named Ron and his hands shook while he did his crosswords and when he found out I was attending a Christian conference he told me about his church, about how he and his wife were on the welcoming committee, there.
“Where is she now?” I asked, and his chin began to wobble. “She’s with the Lord,” he whispered.
Then he held up five gnarled fingers. “Five months ago,” he said. And I put my hand on his arm and he dabbed at his eyes with a Kleenex and for a moment we weren’t strangers.
He pulled himself together and talked about the weather and then he turned to me. “She liked to read,” he said. “Our house is full of books. I suppose I’ll give them to the church.”
“That’s something my husband and I have in common,” I said. “We love to read.”
I don’t want my marriage to be ordinary. I know that peanut butter and jam on toast is good and nutritious and solid. But sometimes you need Eggos. Every once in a while, just to remember that life is worth celebrating with the one you love.
Because sooner or later we’ll be sitting on a plane, alone, doing crosswords and trying hard not to cry.
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