We tuck two children into their beds each night, and as I kiss each one, and feel their arms around me, I wonder how I got so lucky. How did I get lucky enough to love these two little people? And to have them love me back?
It’s the kind of love I never could have imagined until I found myself right in the middle of it. I thought now and again about children when I was younger, but it was one of those dreams I couldn’t truly touch until they were in my arms.
The thing that I love most about loving my kids is how simple it is. Oh, they give me a run for my sanity more often than not and there are days I check the mirror knowing grey hair is coming any day now, but the loving…oh, the loving is easy. They run at me, giggling at our silliness, or sniffling over hurts and we hug and cuddle. And they are so earnest about it all, how could they not hold my heart in their hands?
The funny thing about it though, is that they, and all children, are born from love that is not so simple. Oh, it’s love all right, true enough to hold, to linger, to last, but when it comes to love and marriage, don’t we sometimes wish it was as simple as the love we share with our children?
But how could it be? The love between two adults, two individuals could never be so simple. We love, of course we do, day in and day out, but we are our own people, and sometimes it is more complicated than that. We love, but we also push, we pull, we laugh, we disagree, we grow, we change, we argue, we plan, we reach, we rise, and we fall. We do it together, and we do it all. And to love through all of that takes work.
When we planned our wedding, 13 years ago, my husband came up with an idea we both loved. The inside of our wedding program was simple, but on the front cover we printed “Once upon a time…” and on the back “…and they lived happily ever after.”
And somehow, through all the ups and downs, adventures, trials, challenges, celebrations, we are living our lives between those two lines. Once upon a time we didn’t have this love, didn’t know how big a life we would build…but as we have lived our lives and continue to, the love has remained, and now it is magnified a hundred times over in our children.
Oh, and the happily ever after part? Yeah. We’re working on it. It’s the only way we all get there, isn’t it?