It is nearly 5 p.m. I am in sweats, I haven’t showered today and I smell like a combination of sweat and carpet cleaner.
Over the past few weeks I have battled with shingles followed by a cold/bug/system slowdown/thing, keeping me at arm’s length (if not more) from my husband.
And today is our anniversary.
As I try to guide the carpet cleaner over an area rug that slides and moves and flips over, he comes to my rescue. Planting his big ole boots on the corners of the rug my hunky hubby helps me finish this push to clean our home. And I begin to clean the rug he begins to dance. He shakes and gyrates as I clean and laugh. Then he jumps up, lands both feet back on the corners and gives me a view of the same dance from his backside.
I love him.
I think back over our nine years. We were one of those newlywed couples, the ones that always wanted to be together, to somehow be touching…close. I don’t think we were too smoochy in public, although in all truth I can’t remember because somehow I only had eyes for the green-eyed boy I married. I remember spending hours getting ready for our anniversary date…working hard to look good for him.
And I wonder, for a brief moment is romance dead? Did I kill it? Shouldn’t I be showering, makeuping, trying on half my closet only to put on the first thing I picked??
But, then there is this man gyrating in the entry way and I laugh. And I know. Romance isn’t dead….its different….it is intimate and just ours.
As newlyweds we lived our love out loud and in front of everyone. Smooching. Holding hands. Cute. Cuddly. Sickening. (he, he) It was sweet, this blossoming marriage. Our days were filled with each other….because that is all we had.
Then came children, more furniture, a bigger house, more land, church commitments, serving, homeschooling, and so much more. And what was cute and cuddly was tested through postpartum depression; sick kids at 3 a.m.; the death of loved ones; lean months and rough patches.
A few years ago I lamented over the loss of that newlywed stage. Saddened that we just weren’t those two people anymore. I focused on what I thought was lost, not on what we had found.
We found what love looks like when it is refined by the fires of life. That at 3 a.m. we are like a Seal team — silent and on task we combat sick kids, huge messes, and nasty things quickly. That death comes, to us all, and there is no other place to lean but on each other when our hearts hurt. That money will be tight, nerves will be stretched and plucked and life is hard.
I’ll always adore the time we had together when our love was new and shiny. Before life began to “distress” it (think shabby chic here!) a little. I’ve learned that romance isn’t dead…it just isn’t shiny or store-bought anymore. Like these wildflowers (weeds maybe?!?!?) that my hunky hubby put on the breakfast table a couple of months back….our romance is simple, intimate and just for us.
Some women may not be moved by little things like chalkboard expressions of love and vases of wildflowers, but I was…am.
Some women may not be moved to laughter and overwhelmed with love at this rug-cleaning Magic Mike moment, but I was…am.
And that’s what I mean.
In the nine years we’ve been married we both have more grey hair, a few more wrinkles (mostly laugh lines!), we have both grown a bit around the mid-section, but we’ve also grown into our love.
I never thought I would get married or be a mother, and I am so thankful that God’s plans weren’t my thoughts. I am blessed beyond measure to be the wife of a man who takes life as it comes, seeks God, laughs heartily and loves whole-heartedly. Here’s to another 60 years, hubby….now I think there are more rugs to be cleaned.