This morning I woke up to Lily pulling on my arms telling me that I had to go with her to her room; there was something I had to see. Her brown eyes were brimming with excitement as she tugged harder and harder on my arm. ”Mom, you have to see this! Someone left a Snow White doll in my room!”
During the night, Jackson had crawled into bed with us. Lily’s cries of “there is something in Jackson’s room too!” shook the sleep from his eyes and he jumped from the bed to run from our room with his sister. Beside their beds I had placed a small toy along with a box of smarties. You would think we had given them the world.
Kisses, hugs andcheerful I love you‘s from the kids was a pretty sweet way to wake up.
And then there’s my husband. With a smile he said ‘Can you believe we’ve been together for seventeen years?’ I replied ’And we’re not sick of each other yet!’
We won’t buy roses and chocolates today but we will take a little extra time to reflect on us.
Sometimes I watch my husband as he works or plays with the kids. I can still see that eighteen year old boy I fell in love with behind his greying temples and laugh lines. Just looking at him can move me to tears, thinking about all that we’ve been through together and the kind of man he is. I can lose myself in watching him. Happiness, pride, adoration and respect swirl in a tornado of emotion as I look at my best friend.
I loved him before we had children but something changed the moment he held Jackson for the first time; something that made him immeasurably more attractive. The spark that ignited behind Chris’ eyes in the delivery room six years ago intesified with the birth of our daughter and it’s been incredible watching him as a dad.
I’m not an artist; I can’t paint Chris a picture or build him something special as he does for me. I only have words but I can’t even shape them to adequately describe how I feel. There aren’t words big enough. He doesn’t expect too much of me but pushes me to always do better. He is the archenemy of the mean girl that lives inside my head who tells me I’m not good enough or not pretty enough. Just as I start to believe her, he puts his arm around me and just his touch reminds me that I am enough. Better than enough.
We are partners. Sometimes he gets his way, sometimes I get mine but it’s always a conversation. We’re not perfect and we argue (oh, can we argue) but we (ok, mostly he) talks it out and we get back to being happy. And we are. Happy. Content. We’re figuring life out as we go and we’re doing it together – mistakes and all. As each year passes we realize new dreams, put old ones to rest and forge our way through new adventures. And there is no one that I’d rather adventure with.
I watch my husband and I fall in love with him all over again. He is a reflection of me, our lives are intertwined and we have left a mark on the very core of each other.
I only have my words, Chris, and it is here I leave them for you. It’s you who has helped me and supported me in developing this small place in the world to write and I just wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you. You are the lynch-pin in our little four-pod of awesome.