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Challenge: Reflecting on a Year of Pandemic Parenting

Additional marriage vows this mom/wife is adding during the pandemic

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Some added marriage vows during this pandemic. What 2020 has taught this wife

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As this year comes to a close I have been doing as many of you are, reflecting and inwardly thinking of my hopes for the coming year. It has been said that a goal of a writer to make the unseen seen. Another goal is to also to speak out loud words that others think but don’t say. Maybe I can do both today?

I am in an especially reflective mood having celebrated my wedding anniversary a few days ago. Each anniversary I think about the day of our marriage. The day we wore the beautiful outfits that now hang in our guest room closet and made vows to each other. Those younger versions of ourselves that could not know what was to come. You can’t possible know that day the joys and challenges that each day brings. We say a lot in those vows but I’d like to amend them to add in some new ones in this unprecedented time of Covid.

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I vow to..

Share the couch with you. I will sit next to you and search for a new program to entertain us both just when we think we’ve watched everything. I’ll keep looking until we find something that makes us laugh or keeps us on the edge of our seats for as long as that season lasts! Then we will look again.

Give you space when you need it. You go to your wing of the house and I’ll go to mine. We are more together than ever and everyone deserves a moment to be alone. I’ll make sure you have yours secure that it has nothing to do with me. We all need a minute and I’ve got your back.

To appreciate the small things you do. Big gestures are often recognized but small ones not as much. As I sit here with a runny nose, it’s only just a cold (I may take out a billboard so everyone knows this)! I think about all that you did today, you took the kids out so I could rest. You gave me my moments. You made breakfast, lunch and dinner. You laughed with the kids. You took out the trash and you tidied the house. We vowed to cherish each other but we never vowed to make sure the other person had cookies when the other one got up, thank you for bringing me my favorite cookies to the couch. It’s the little things my friend.

To wear a lot of sweatpants for almost a year. I vow to be comfortable with you and comfortable in our relationship. Zippers are so 2019!

To value your safety. I vow to carry an extra mask in my purse in case you forget yours. To always have hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes. I will be relentless in my search for toilet paper if we run low and to go to the a store that has your marmite. I will do my best to keep you safe and sane.

To always set out an extra coffee cup when I’m getting mine. I vow to caffeinate you and refill your mug when needed. Both of us are better with our morning coffee sitting in the dark quiet of morning. We start the day united, I hope we always will.

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Finally I vow to…

I vow to choose to love you each day. I vow this in and out of pandemic. I recently read that marriage is a choice we make each day. Each day we choose to love another person with all of our will and heart. We choose to value their happiness and their hopes and dreams as our own. Even on the challenging days we choose to get through that challenge.

Love is seen but it can be unseen as well. It can be in choices or coffee cups. It can be in cleaning the garage side by side or finding that marmite he ran out of. It can be in a look or a word or many words.

On an anniversary we remember the wedding details. The sounds of the chapel bells and feeling of ring being slipped on. I clearly remember thinking that my husband looked like the rest of my life as I walked towards him down that aisle. We chose our partners then and we still choose them now.

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Marriage in a pandemic…there was no handbook for this! I look forward to date night again someday. I look forward to dinners with our friends and movies with our kids back in the theater. To family vacations and neighborhood block parties. In the meantime I count myself blessed to have chosen someone who I can eat takeout with. Someone to play monopoly with. Someone to drink wine on the lanai with in our own personal speakeasy. Let us find the joy and give the grace to our partner in crime. Let us learn and grow and laugh. Let’s keep waking up and choosing our families. 2021 is coming and we still have many choices not available to us but we have the choice show up and not give up.

X,

Janet

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