Somehow marriage can tend to get a little lost in the midst of parenting.
And by somehow I mean at the end of the day when those keys jingle at the door and a big hug and warm greeting turns into “here— take him!”
Or when a conversation ends in one big “never mind!” because it couldn’t have possibly been important enough to continue after 6 times of being interrupted.
Or when watching a movie together actually means crashing on the couch.
And alas, when you do find yourself sitting across from each other at a fancy restaurant— surrounded by grown up people having grown up conversations— you somehow also find yourselves singing the praises of, or sharing concerns about, (wouldn’t you guess!) the kids.
While many can speak to this topic with much more experience and expertise than I, I wanted to share three words that have the potential and power to bring some meaning in the mundane and some calm in the chaos. And mostly they have a way of re-connecting two people who are already one, but may feel miles apart.
The words can be shown: making sure to give a quick goodbye kiss before rushing out the door, or meeting eyes and offering a quiet wink in a loud moment, or complimenting their looks on just an ordinary day. The words can also be uttered. Right there in the middle of the madness, three small words.
I see you…
Behind the work clothes you put on every morning and behind that spit up filled t-shirt. I see you.
Underneath loads of laundry and stacked up dishes. I see you.
With a greeting at the door after a long day. I see you.
When you watch with pride or cower in fear. I see you.
Having a dance party in the kitchen or disciplining in the back room. I see you.
With tired or tear filled eyes.
With stretched or scarred skin.
With a heavy or happy heart.
I see you.
Not just the ways you give and the things you do. But you. A person. My person.
The one I used to lay under the stars with. The one I danced with and dreamed with.
My favorite laugh, my greatest confidant, and my forever adventure partner.
Still the one.
Plus so much more that these years have given to you and made of you.
And when the kids are grown up and gone, it will still be you. The same you I’ve been seeing, or missing, all this time.
[Quote from one of my favorite shows, This Is Us, that captures this reality well]
You want to know why my marriage ended, Jack, hmm? Okay, for as long as I can remember I’ve woken up at 6:30 everyday and made Shelly coffee. Splash of milk, two sugars. I would make it, and bring it to her in bed. And she says that her day doesn’t even start until she’s got caffeine in her veins. And then one day, woke up, 6:30, like always. I made myself one, I just didn’t feel like making Shelly one. And the worst part is, she didn’t even notice. We stopped noticing each other, Jack. We stopped trying to make each other happy.
So we fight to keep noticing.
Because marriage really is made up of these moments.