It’s one of our late nights tonight, and I thought I would just take a few minutes to say a few words to you. You’re returning home from the first of your three fifteen-hour shifts this week. You’re tired, I’m sure. These longs days wear you out, but I couldn’t be more proud of you.
These days, it seems like it’s easy to forget who we are. In the midst of the busy that is raising little people and doing the day-to-day feeding and training and loving, or working long days apart, it’s not hard to lose ourselves. We can go through our day without once connecting, without once taking a moment to turn towards each other and remember why we’re doing this together in the first place.
But I don’t want to forget. While these early years of raising kids are filled with unique joys and challenges, I don’t want them to rob us of “us”. It’s too easy to let them.
We started this whole crazy ride of marriage already in the throes of raising kids, as my two-year-old son stood witness to our wedding day. You bravely chose to jump headfirst into being a dad, meaning our honeymoon phase got to last the length of our honeymoon and we had to learn fast how to connect in unique ways.
You have always been willing and creative, as we would often give our little guy a quick dinner and an early bedtime so that we could have a “dinner date” at our kitchen table after he was asleep. Many a night we would fall in exhausted heaps on the couch, cuddling up and binge-watching something on Netflix. Sure, they weren’t expensive dinner dates or extravagant vacations, and often we were giggling about the Cheerios crushed on the couch cushions or the cracker you found lodged in your shoe while at work, but we were connecting. I still love this way that we come together to enjoy each other.
And you are so good to me in the midst of all of this. You make me breakfast on your mornings off, knowing that the mornings you work I barely eat. You help me around the house, easing the burden of our home from my shoulders when I am running dry. You have watched me walk through three years of parenting; from loving my son as your own, to walking through a pregnancy together just a few months into marriage, and now with a third on the way. You have loved me at my worst and celebrated me at my best. Through the ups and downs, the pretty and the plain, you have chosen me. I could never be grateful enough.
And truthfully, after everything, I would choose you, too. Who else could marvel with me over impressive diaper blowouts and secretly laugh at our kids naughtiest (yet cutest) behavior. Who else would sneak into the laundry room with me for bites of ice cream when I’m working away on a healthy dinner for our family. I wouldn’t want anyone else to witness me ugly-crying at an animal movie, or to laugh at me when I crack myself up at my own jokes. You’re the one I want for it all.
So when things get messy, rough, exhausting, or just plain mundane, remember that I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone but you. And I’m so happy to know you feel the same.