My previous post got me to thinking. About romance. (Because nothing screams romance like reading my husband’s mind… regarding the television cabinet.)
Back when I was 18, having met this man I married, dreaming of the life in front of us, it was supposed to be romantic. We’d sit by the fire, reflecting over our days together. I’d have his undivided attention; he’d have mine. We’d sip a glass of wine, agree on a plan of action to reach our dreams. We’d go for drives together, just he and I, discussing what we liked and didn’t like about the things we saw.
Something like that.
We’d wait a few years to have children. Those first few years would be all ours, just to get to know one another better.
A month after we married, tired and nauseous, I stopped at the drugstore on my way home. The results of that test were a course-changer (and rather a theme of the years to come!). My new husband, after momentarily ignoring my panic in favor of painting the kitchen, stepped up to make a plan. We’d move to a cheaper area, abandon his childhood town for one we could afford on one income.
When we lived in an area we hated, desperately wanting to leave, but he had the job of his dreams as a newspaper photographer, he gave it up to move us away to an area where we could live, buy a house in the country, live the life we dreamed of having.
When the kids break something, when the toilet clogs, when the garbage gets full, he fixes it, takes it out, unclogs it. Every morning, when his alarm goes off, he heads off to work… for us.
Doing life, side by side, helping, laughing, stressing, loving… that’s romantic. While I haven’t seen candlelight in a good long time, conversations are rarely uninterrupted, life is so not what I’d expected, and wine has been replaced by a the “kids are in bed, want some ice cream?” consolation prize for surviving another day, there’s something entirely romantic about this life we lead. It’s no storybook, no big picture movie, but when I come home from my travels to see my parents, having left my husband home to work and there’s a brand new newly jacked up bathroom floor to replace the one that had begun sinking, that’s service to his family.