My four-year old daughter and I were lying in my bed together quite early this morning. Her Dad had already left for the gym, her brother was still snoozing in his crib. It was that sweet, warm morning time when nothing bad has happened yet. Your car hasn’t not started, the electric bill hasn’t arrived, no one’s expecting you to be anything; just being awake is enough. And, for the life of you, you can’t remember why you thought your kids were so irritating just twelve short hours ago. Now they’re these little cherubs, rubbing their eyes and wrapping their chubby little arms around your neck, making you drunk on their delicious baby goodness.
Anyway, it was during this semi-dreamy part of the morning when Reese was chatting away to me, her head on my chest, her mass of curly hair swirling around my face. She was telling me one of her usual stories about her “family when she grows up.” You see, there’s this guy Andrew out there somewhere who doesn’t know it yet, but according to Reese, he’s marrying Reese. And they’re having Jessica, “who came out of my tummy first,” and Jennifer and then “the baby,” Sophia. I normally just listen to the exploits of Reese and her future family with limited interest, but today, for some reason, I had a question:
ME: So, why did you pick this guy Andrew to marry?
REESE (after a considerable pause): Because he has a nice face and he’s sweet to me.
ME: Those are excellent reasons.
REESE: Why did you choose Daddy to marry?
ME (after a considerable pause): Because he has a nice face and he’s sweet to me.
Of course, it’s always more complicated than that. Or is it? I remember the first time I laid eyes on Chris eight years ago. I walked into a room and the first thing I saw was the back of his head. At that moment, I felt a rush go through me; heart to toes. I’m not going to be completely nauseating and say it was love at first sight. Or destiny. Or whatever. What I am going to say is that the moment that we met, there was no other option. My life was going his way. Wherever that was going.
Love being love, there’s no neat little package to describe what happened next, what’s happened since. I can give you the facts: five and a half years of marriage, two kids, two dogs, two houses, two cities. I can tell you that when I am lost, it is him I call. When I am at my best or at my worst, it is him I want by my side. I can tell you that every year for Christmas I get a collage of all the moments of the year past and they’re always moments I’ve forgotten and he’s remembered. I can tell you that I prefer him to a double brownie hot fudge sundae.
And I can tell you that he has a nice face and that he is sweet to me.