Last night my husband and I sat in our room after dinner. He was in his chair working on his laptop and I was in bed reading a book. I felt a nudge to look up and when I did I saw my husband, the man that I love more than words the way that his mother looked at him.
My husband had the most loving mother. She was everything that I could have ever wished for in a mom. She baked cookies, cooked your favorite dinner when you visited, drank giant diet cokes and chain smoked. What I loved the most about Irene was her smile. She was always smiling and laughing. But the thing that I really envied was how she would light up when she saw Stacey. When she passed away I promised to do my best to love him as much as she did. When I looked at him sitting there last night, I came pretty close.
I had this crazy idea growing up that marriage was going to always be good. That I was always going to feel like a new bride. I had no clue what a long term relationship was like at all. It’s not always a good time. There isn’t always great romance. In fact, the most romantic thing that we do is go to eat without kids once a week and talk about how we hope we make it to the day when they are all grown up and out of the house. Not because we don’t love our kids, but we have seven kids pretty close in age which means that right now we have 5 teenagers that we are responsible for. Five teenagers…..
There is this point in marriage where you just realize that neither of you is going anywhere. We are too old to date anyone else. That would require a lot of things like getting to know someone else, getting used to the things that will eventually get on your nerves (and everyone will eventually do things that get on your nerves). Not to mention that if we dated someone near our age, they would have kids and exes, I am too old to even begin to deal with someone else’s ex-wife and kids. If we date younger then that means dealing with someone who is still growing up. We just barely reached adulthood and like I said, we are 40 years old! No, ain’t nobody got time to deal with some 30 year old’s crap. See how old I am? I think that 30 is young.
That’s what happily ever after looks like: love, sacrifice, growth and invested energy. I have seen my husband at his best, at his worst, at his most broken and I am watching him come back every day. I am so proud of him. He has seen me drunk and grieving for my best friend and he’s dealt with me being arrested over and over. He has watched me become angry and bitter and loved me anyway staying by my side until I found my passion in life. When that passion didn’t pay, he just killed more bugs and let me write.
When I was 13 years old I would sit under the stars and dream about what being married to Stacey would be like. I dreamt about all kinds of things, but I never dreamt that love would look like this. This is better. This is real.