“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets
I was married at 21. I remember people telling me I was really young and I remember thinking they were crazy. We had been together three years by that time, and when you’re 21, three years is a lifetime. Today is fifteen years from the day I said I do. And somehow, though back then three years seemed SO long, five times that has gone by in less than the blink of an eye … the beat of a heart … the length of a song.
I’ve often shared that I’m a hopeless romantic, and it’s true. I apologize to my husband because I know how unfair and unrealistic it is to be the way I am … and yet … I simply cannot help it. I love love. I even have a Pinterest board called that and pin romantic images. The thing is, after fifteen years, love looks different. At this stage it isn’t all sweeping gestures and classic eyes-closed kisses … but that doesn’t make it less … it makes it real.
For us at 36 and 37, with two kids and two dogs and two cats and two fish and two full time jobs … love is lived-in and a bit nicked up in places. My favorite home decor style is vintage romantic, and maybe that’s why … because it is still lovely, but aged … somehow sophisticated in its imperfection as if it has survived many stories worth telling. This is our love.
For us now:
Love looks like going to a coffee shop instead of a romantic dinner (neither of us have a huge appreciation for overpriced food).
Love looks like saying yes to acting classes and summer camps instead of get-away vacations for two.
Love looks like choosing to visit family every time we have a holiday.
Love looks like emptying the dishwasher, making the bed, and rinsing out the sink after shaving all without being asked.
Love looks like sacrificing Saturdays for soccer games and choosing your son’s travel league as your favorite sports team.
Love looks like saying yes to another dog because (at this point of fur) what’s the difference?
Love looks like stolen kisses at midnight because it is the only time our daughter might actually be sleep.
Love looks like laughing at old jokes … remembering first kisses … and being secure in the fact that regardless of the potholes life throws our way … we’re under construction together.
So yeah … our love looks nothing like my Pintrest board. It doesn’t sweep you under like a romantic novel or entrance you like a classic film … but it has stood the test of time; it is vintage and lovely, worn and comfortable. My love story, and the children who have come out of it, are the greatest accomplishments of my life. My husband is my living, breathing, there-for-me-when-I’m-being-a-weirdo, dream-come-true and I hope he knows it, even when I forget to thank him as I should.
Wherever you are in your love story … I sure would like to hear about it! You know I’m a sucker for romance after all … even when love looks different.
Hugs and kisses,