We’ve known eachother since we were 21.
I still remember how shortly after we started dating we agreed that we were each allowed to cull a few “deal breaker” items from each other’s closet. He insisted a pair of my very awkward and proper pointy-toed lace-up shoes needed to go; and I swore that if he ever wore the glasses with frames that went below his cheekbones again, I’d have to break up with him.
Still, we were complete dorks. I wore sneakers all the time, and sweatshirts that were perpetually 3 sizes too big. He wore khaki pants with pleats and suspenders. We both wore a lot of spandex (mountain and road riding.)
Once he grew a goatee at my request (don’t ask.) Then I accidentally dyed my hair carrot red the weekend he proposed. We were both still baby-faced: whatever all-nighters we pulled they didn’t amount to anything near the cumulative tired that would come with little ones, marking our eyes with raccoon rings and crows feet.
The years in between then and now have flown by in a blur, and many of them are recorded here in the archives. How we moved here with a 6 month old. How we made our own rituals. The way we fought. The way we laughed. How we adored watching our first kid discover his world. Buying our house here and gutting it. Creating this home from scratch. Navigating depression. Being tossed headlong into financial uncertainty. Finding out I was pregnant. Having our second baby. Quitting. Starting. A book. Graduate school. A new job. Graduating. Another new job. Finding purpose. Co-piloting. Always becoming.
And now here we are on the other side of those pell-mell early years suddenly, with kids big enough now to leave behind for long enough to reclaim the spark and delight that caused us to flirt, and say yes, and make babies in the first place. Mmm-hmmm.
New Orleans was exactly that. Sun drenched, with enough time for a nap on Friday, and then music and shrimp and grits, and daiquiris after running (because that’s the recovery drink of champions, right?) and lots of laughing and hand holding and ducking into doorways and kissing and people watching and all that good stuff that happens when the “Do Not Disturb” sign goes up and doesn’t come down until 11AM the next day. Mmmm. Yes.
Then of course, there was the flight back–three legs in all that took us to Minnesota and then Illinois. But still, even that was fun, sitting in cramped seats side by side and talking and talking like we’d just met. If having kids does anything to people who are in love, it makes them appreciate what a boon uninterrupted hours are–because on an average day around here to finish a sentence feels miraculous, let alone to have a conversation about poetry and possibility. Several uninterrupted hours? Amazing. And so worth it. Even though reality hit the minute we touched down in Vermont, and all the work we’d left behind had apparently mated and produced more work.
Since autumn this has been our commitment–to ourselves and each other. To nourish, to sustain, and to rediscover.
Tell me, how do you nourish your relationship with the one you love?