This June Sean and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage. Seems impossible to believe, because I can still feel that June sun beating down on us as we stood before the minister. The crescendo of nursing, diapering, strollering and co-sleeping has quieted. They reach for their own cups, they read books to one another and have begun to slowly show signs of wanting us to take a step back.
Somehow in parenting you develop the ability to recognize when a moment has come—to let go of the bike as they learn to pedal, to gracefully pass a glass and allow them to wobble and teeter their way to the table. We shift our grasp and at times actually let go. I don’t know that I can say the same about marriage. I yearn for the love letters and scavenger hunts from when we were dating. I miss the unabashed intensity, yet I have a drawerful of tattered t-shirts covering wispy bits of potential.
I hope silently for tender back rubs and whispered endearments, but I’m the first to sever a moment by responding to calls for a DVD or helping to find a pair of socks right that minute. My multi-tasking works for everything but allowing my marriage to be the task at hand. I’m thinking about this for a couple of reasons, there seems to have been a spate of break-ups and, honestly, I know that I can do better.
Joanna at A Cup of Jo does an incredible job of putting thought into her marriage the same way so many of us moms do about our parenting. Kristen talks about her marriage too, devising ways to make it better. I haven’t been factoring in as much as I should that my attitude colors how our marriage feels. The other day we were talking about doing something and I said negatively, “But that won’t be fun for you,” to which Sean said very quickly and honestly, “Babe, if you are having fun, then I am too. I am the happiest when you are, so let’s do it.”
When I work out, when I put down my worry, when I make the decision to put time with Sean ahead of work, kids, sparkly things on the internet, it’s right for everyone. As I think about being a model for the girls I realize that there is a hell of a lot more to marriage than not cheating. Dates with no work talk, holding hands, saying I love you. Moving those nasty shirts out so that the glimmer of the way it was feels a little more comfortable on me.