This picture came up in my Facebook memories today. It's a picture of my husband and I, pre-kids.
He rocked a mustache. I rocked long blonde hair. Gosh, we were cool then. And rested. Man, were we rested. Our skin literally glowing from youth and rest. Then it was just us two. Two young 20-somethings hopped up on love and sunshine.
We spent the day drinking too much sangria on a dock and the night singing country music too loudly around a campfire.
We drove the highway to our favourite destination with our windows down and the sunroof open.
He was my boyfriend and I was his girlfriend. The proposal, the wedding, the babies - they were just starting to come up in conversation.
They were romanticized. We had no real idea what we were walking into. We had no idea what the world of love, marriage, and babies would hold.
At this point we hadn't fought over anything more than where we'd go for dinner and I'm pretty sure we said "I love you" 547 times a day. Our love ran deep but it was innocent. It hadn’t been exposed to all the chaos that came with the things we couldn’t wait for.
Everything we talked about we "couldn't wait" for.
The proposal, the marriage, the babies. That grownup, adult life.
And then I blinked and it all happened.
He became my husband and I his wife. We bought a house. We had a baby. And then another. We stopped drinking sangria, driving with our windows down, and staying up late enough to sit around a campfire.
This couple here had so much freedom. And they didn't have to try. Loving each other, laughing together, and finding time for one another came so easily. Finding time to be these people in this photo, it became so hard.
It’s only been three years since this picture was taken but I already forget what it felt like to be Ms. Blonde and Mr. Moustache. More importantly, I often forget what I brought to our relationship – besides the latest update on the colours of our kids poop, and who screamed loudest during naptime.
But then I see photos like this, and I’m quickly reminded. Or when I sit down and watch our wedding video (and cry, man do I cry). And I’m reminded of the two young and in love souls we have inside of us. And how we NEED to let these souls run wild and free from time to time. Especially when we’re in the trenches of motherhood.
It's so easy to put your babies first and have your marriage fall second. It's so easy to forget who you were as you learn who you're becoming. It’s so easy to forget to hold hands when your job is holding babies. But I know when I look at my husband and feel the big "I miss you" feeling, it's time for country music and sangria. It's time for us to put "mom and dad" on the backburner, even if it's just for a night. And it's time for us to be these people in this picture - we owe it to ourselves and our marriage not to let them die.
These people used to flirt with each other and flaunt it for each other. They didn’t have the weight of the world on their shoulders, or two little humans between them at night. It was easy then. The flaunting, the flirting, the laughing, the love -it takes work now – but it means so much more.
Hubby, today I'm reminded I miss you. Yes, I see you every day under the same expensive roof. But after weeks of you sleeping on our toddlers floor, 6 weeks of having a new baby in the house, and just being "mom" and "dad". Man, do I miss you and everything that you are outside of our crazy world. So tonight, we become them. I’ll bring the sangria. You bring your singing voice. We'll set these innocent, young, rested souls free.
But, the mustache isn’t invited.