Nine years and I still find myself, at times, sinking under the glorious weight of my adoration for him.
It is different than it used to be. I was so young and free, with nothing better to do than lie on my bed or curl up on the porch swing and daydream about him. My days were filled up with a yearning that he answered however he could, a love letter in the mail, a midnight e-mail, a two hour phone call, a stroll down our country road with hands intertwined…
he was my world and I was his.
From morning until night, my heart was gazing at him, feasting on the love that God had written for us.
The memory squeezes so hard, it hurts.
Today, however, there is little time for gazing and feasting. We are surrounded by a boisterous and spirited army of tiny noise-makers who are hungry, thirsty, dirty, tired, bored or have a desperate need to be tickled. When we whisper, they want to know what we’re talking about. When we have a conversation, they want to add to it. When we kiss, they giggle, and when we hug, they want to join in and make it a group affair.
They crawl into our bed at night.
They come downstairs during our evening free time.
And even when the world is dark and their voices are no longer heard, there is the baby across the room from us in his temporary crib. He may be sleeping, but he is present.
But you know what?
Marital love is more resilient than I ever gave it credit for, bouncing back from interruptions and finding a way to grow through the cracks; our life may be more crowded, but our capacity for love has only multiplied with each new life that has joined our ranks.
There is no competition here for my affection.
This is no war for my heart.
We are a family.
And when I look at my children, I see their Papa.
When he treats them tenderly, I am wooed.
And though the love between us that was once a beam is now a zigzag, jumbled up in the four stairstep offspring who share our home, they all lead me back to him, anyway.
The romance comes in snatches now. When I am sweeping the crumbs into the dustpan and a random thought of him crosses my mind. When a sweet song plays over the radio. When I see a photo that captures who he is. When I am sitting in the living room and overhear his laughter from the upstairs nursery…
love washes over me just as surely as it did when our hands first met and when our lips first kissed.
I can see him, you know, over the tops of their heads.
And I don’t plan on ever taking my eyes off of him.