To my better half (wherever you may be),
I don’t know you, but I already love the idea of you. I love the sense of adventure I know you will have, and I love the idea of sharing life with you. I don’t only imagine the nights in elegant dresses, but the days in running shorts- my hair a mess, headband falling off, three tiny hands holding my hand as we cross downtown streets. Saturday mornings, you’ll be woken by either the smell of pancakes or my offbeat singing to the radio (here’s hoping the pancakes get to you first, huh?). We’ll dance to our wedding song whenever we hear it on the radio, and our kids will yell about cooties because I will always kiss you in front of them. I want our children to know love, and find anger to be the rarity in our home. Love is not elegance and perfection; it is an overcooked meatloaf that you left in the oven too long because you were busy remembering 6th grade math to help with homework. Love is a red, runny nose after a long snow day of vicious snowball fights. When I tell you that I love you, I love every day, every night of you.
My parents divorced when I was fourteen. It wasn’t a messy divorce, and my Superwoman of a mother kept me in the school district. It didn’t affect my friendships, and had minimal impact on my academics. Emotionally though, I was lost. The relationship I had looked up to most had wilted away. In my devastation and confusion, I confided in my Sunday school teacher- a man happily married with three grown children. When I told him I was afraid love was not a permanent feeling, he thought carefully. After a few minutes of thought, he replied, “many kids think when a toy breaks, the only solution is to replace it. I disagree. Spend the time to glue the pieces back together. You fix what is broken. You don’t replace it.”
With that, I want to warn you (hopefully you know this by now) I am not always easy. I either wake up with the sun and lay restlessly for hours in hopes you will wake up too, or I sleep until noon. I have impatient and irrational bursts of frustration, and sometimes I will say things that I will want to take back ten minutes later. I drink coffee like it’s water, and I am tired a lot. I get excited over small things, and constantly want to be on the move. I like to talk about things, and I will need the occasional reminder that you still love me. If I’m broken, if we’re broken, we’ll fix it. Don’t replace it
(or me). I will never replace you, I’m throwing away your receipt the day you tell me you’re mine.
I will remind you that I love you on that sunny Tuesday in May when we play hooky from work to get lunch. I will remind you that I love you on the day in June that our daughter graduates kindergarten. I will remind you that I love you on a rainy Sunday in April when the world seems against you. I will remind you that I love you on the warm Spring day our son gets into college, and our nest begins to feel empty. I will remind you that I love you when we’ve collected smile lines and wrinkles and we are sitting on wooden rocking chairs with our grandchildren.