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Challenge: Romance After Kids

Keeping One Another Warm

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I had a meeting tonight and returned home to find both of our cats on one heated bed. Mary is new, and our resident cat, Tiger Lily, wasn't so sure of her. Lily hissed at Mary to our surprise and then ran away. Then, they absolutely avoided one another. Slowly, though, there were moments of quiet acceptance. I'd see them come close to one other as my son pet them both. Then, I saw them rub noses and my daughter yelled, "Mommy, the cats love one another!" Because they're together, I guess they've just decided to be friends. And now, as it seems, they've become the best of friends. Despite the fact that they both have warm and soft (and heated!) beds in our garage, they now sleep together on one. They were just curled up together, nestled in to weather yet another storm, just like my husband and me.

I've received so many emails, messages, and even a few requests for interviews about my TODAY Parenting Team piece on marriage. I'm here to tell you that I hardly have marriage figured out. I'm no expert, believe me. I keep quiet about coats and shoes, but that's it! I'm not docile by nature and while I do try to be mindful of the idea that we're all not perfect, sometimes, even my own dialogue doesn't help me refrain from negative behaviors or the pointing out of his imperfections. I don't have advice for people. I never meant to pretend that I did or do or should or would or could. I only tell you here about my own life and what works (and what doesn't!). My marriage is a blessing to me but like life, it isn't perfect.

RELATED: The secret to a long marriage is ... staying quiet?

I don't pretend to know what makes a marriage last. The first lines of my last essay for the TODAY show stated just that. But here's what I know: like our cats, we keep one another warm in a storm. Keeping one another warm is something. It's a good place to start again or start anew or even break it all down and start over. He's the cat I would curl up with. And that's enough. The rest might just be details?

Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me. My prayer tonight is this: may I remember my own words always. And may they help someone who feels lost in a storm tonight.

Stay warm, my friends. Stay warm in all the ways.

(This is the original post on marriage for the TODAY Parenting Team's Keeping Love Alive challenge).

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