About Me

 

 The greatest thing we can do is to show up for our lives and not be ashamed.

 -Anne Lamott

 

I'm a creature of the word, learning to tell my honest story.

I offer it here because telling stories is the road back home.

Motherhood is not a biological designation
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Wednesday
Apr162014

A letter to my husband of nine years

Dear husband of nine years,

I know you are not a words of affirmation person, which means me writing a letter to you about all the ways our love has grown over the years, and how I love you more each passing day, and how I could never have imagined back then how our life would look now, won't make that much of a difference to you.

You'd rather me just sit on the couch with you. Or get it on.  But since you are not home quite yet from work...wait, you just pulled up. You are getting out of your truck, and you are carrying a gorgeous orchid, and a card!

Yay! Happy Anniversary to us!!

Your card says, "I love you more than I did 9 years ago, and that was a lot back then.  I love you, our story (orchid), and our family. Your Lover."

Everything is better! My poopy mood (PMS, sorry), is gone, and I am so excited to greet you at the door and give you a kiss, and go out to dinner with you later tonight!

Now you've left to take the boys to soccer practice, so I am finishing this letter before you return and want to sit on the couch. Or get it on.

I almost went and looked up our orchid story so I could remember exactly what it was. I know it was our wedding favor: folded like a little square booklet, and illustrated with orchids by a super talented artist friend of ours, and that you wrote it, which was HUGE since you were the guy, and in my limited experience, guys didn't do much for weddings.

But then I decided it would be more telling if I just went with what I can remember after all these years; and after all these years all I can really remember is that it was about this one orchid plant you had that looked dead, and yet every year, it bloomed on the anniversary of your sister's death, and then went dormant again, and then bloomed when we started dating, and then dormant when we broke off our engagement, and then bloomed again when we got engaged again...something like that.  Lesson being: love is tenacious, and stronger than the grave.  

We've gone through our fair share of grave things, and so I suppose I write this letter more for someone who might be wondering how you stay together after hitting some marital rock bottom; after moving, what, thirteen times is it?; after birthing four kids in five years; after a house fire...after all the other things that aren't headline news, but can break a marriage if we didn't work through them: general distraction, getting too busy, not sharing our hearts, forgetting to hold hands and go to bed at the same time, getting overwhelmed with the nitty gritty and forgetting to nurture the things that matter, getting bored, getting easily annoyed, getting complacent, disengaging....there are so many little foxes that can ruin the vineyard.

What I want to thank you for-after nine years, when I truly can say (the way you expressed so succinctly and simply, as you tend to do) that I love you more now than then, and then was a lot- is for SEEING me.

My best friend said it first, right after she met you. She said, "that guy sees you for who you really are. You can't pull one over on him like you do all the other guys.  He's not going to let you get away with stuff."

At the time, this did not seem like the romantic endorsement I was hoping for. Frankly, it scared me.  It sounded so grown up. And serious.  And, like, the real thing.  Plus, I liked getting away with stuff. I liked finding guys who thought I was the cat's meow.  I liked not being seen, because then I could keep my cards held close to my chest.

Now, after all we've been through, I am infinitely grateful that you don't like cats, or the way they meow. I like that you know who I am. 

You have pulled me back to myself, to what is true, to what matters, time and time again. You have believed in me when I have not believed in myself. You have fought for me, and for our family, over and over again. 

I didn't value it then, when I was twenty-one and we'd first met. I didn't know what a gift it would be to be called out on my shit. To be loved no matter what. To be seen, and sought for, even when I did my best to hide. 

You are a man that I can respect, and follow, and trust, and it turns out that's exactly what I needed, and had always dreamed of.  

You also always have good breath, even if it's first thing in the morning. Which might be the real secret to staying together after nine years.  

I love you,

me