Sometimes I stop and look across the table at the man with the square jaw who is telling August to eat 4 more peas and then he can have another piece of bread, and that man is the boy I met at an acappella concert in Ithaca, New York of all places: tall and lanky and a little awkward around girls. Lucky for him, I was not awkward around boys.
Yesterday when I ran into our neighbors who share a wall with August’s room, I told them we’re moving this week and made a joke about how relieved they must be to not have to participate in every tantrum thrown in our apartment. They said what they’ll miss is the sound of August and Chris playing on August’s bed every night. The sweetest sounds, they said.
There are moments I’m so overcome with the joy of my life, with the happiness of being in love with a good man, with the sweetness of being loved, that I think it can’t have happened to me, this good, beautiful thing. Chris, I say, it’s hard to leave these people I love but I can ‘t believe I get to move wherever you are. Every time, I get to move wherever you are.
Seven years ago were we less in love? I could never state that as a fact. Maybe less aware of how we were capable of loving? In the same way that we loved cheese but had NO IDEA how good cheese could be.
Maybe that’s a dumb analogy. What I mean is this: I married the best of them all. And fatherhood has made him better. And time has made him deeper and wiser. And age has made him more handsome. And Jesus has made him more himself than ever before.
When I married him seven years ago, we laughed a lot. And now? We smirk and snark and cough and catch each other’s eye across the table when our oldest boy says something amazing and ridiculous. And I know what we will share when he comes home from high school having done something stupid. We’ll deal with it, like we deal with his poop on the floor or his 3 am nightmares. And we’ll look at each other and we’ll know whatever it was that we knew that afternoon in the meadow, beneath the towering mountain and the rumbling thunderstorm threatening overhead. We knew that the other was wonderfully our own. Somehow we had been given the other, not to possess but to carry. And, here, seven years later with two boys and a transition looming ahead, I see in his face that belief that this thing is possible and I say it again: I will and I will and I do.