I remember the first time I saw this photo, thinking it was terrible. Eyes closed, no make-up, stringy hair. Recently the girls dug out some old albums and I sifted through a bunch of old photos and this one made my heart melt. After being in hiding for all these years, it turns out, I love it.
We were in the airport on our way home from our honeymoon in Cabo. I can still remember the kind of happiness I felt. I didn't think it could get any better. How could it be so easy? How could we be so lucky, that from that point on, we got to live in the same house, make food together, watch Friends reruns all night and be together ALL the time!? Way too good to be true. Life was sweet.
And it really was sweet... and it really was easy.
Having kids changes everything--- they always said so. And it is true. And this is where I sound so super-cheery-blogger-annoying.
Life is so much BETTER now. And not just because I discovered make up and that eyelash growing stuff and Ross shaved off his sideburns. It's so much busier and maybe lots more challenging and maybe I don't look quite so carefree-- but I love my husband SO much more today than I did back then. I have so much more adoration, admiration, respect, attraction ... all of it. I think my love back then was based a lot on that feeling of being wanted and loved--- still young and narcissistic. It was all about me.
I don't think I ever could have known what seeing him as a father could do for me. Everyone wants a man who's good with kids. And you do the best you can to watch for signs and hope he likes playing with his nieces and nephews--- if only that really said much. It takes a man who genuinely loves his role as husband and father and puts it above all other roles. He finds his pride and joy in those things... so it's not some internal struggle for him to try and keep his priorities straight. He wants to be home. He wants to be a part of what we do and what we talk about and no matter how tired he is, he wants to give his time and attention and silly voices to those kids at night so that every single day they know he loves them.
When he pulled out the musical handwritten cards for the girls this morning that I didn't know he'd brought home, I had this glimpse of what it would be like for them as teenagers-- with this dad.
Snoop doggy dog played over and over again while they opened and closed their puppy cards and had us read the adoring words of their daddy. I pictured bad-news-teenage-boys, and confused young teenage girls from school, and all things this generation that TERRIFY me for when my kids get older---- and I thought--- those things don't stand a chance. Not against these kids. Not with this dad.
And that's when I'm certain I could never love a person more.
Happy Valentine's Day.