Pillow in the Car
I haven’t had a conversation of any substance with my husband for many days. At night, we fall into our couch to watch a show, and then one by exhausted one, like drunken college coeds, we meander into our bedroom where we indiscriminately pop up throughout the night for bad dreams, lost pacifiers, and blankets that have been kicked off the bed, but that are now desperately wanted on the bed. I know I love him not because I know him right now; I do not really know him right now. I know about him – his likes, his dislikes, his family, his history. But his right now? I do not really know about it. I know bits and pieces about right now that have been offered to me on a date night when we are catching up or that come out in between tubbies and bed times for the kids at night before I’ve lost myself to the couch, but there are whole chunks of him, of his days, about which I have no knowledge.
“Did I tell you I was with Hillary Clinton the other day?” “No, when was that?”
I know I love him like how I remember I know I loved a certain food at a restaurant, a particular city that I visited; he has been catalogued in my mind and heart as Man That I Love.
We vowed to one another to stay with each other in sickness and in health. What we didn’t vow aloud, and what I believe might be harder than the vows we made on that altar so many years ago, is to remain together through the monotony of daily life, on the days when I forget why I chose to love him and how we got here, in the times when we are working, parenting, cooking, and cleaning the house and babies’ buns so much so that I forget that we are not just companion worker bees, though I appreciate our ability to work side by side to make our family run, but also compatriots and lovers who chose to make a family of our own.
“How in the world did we get here?” we sometimes ask, wordlessly, when it’s all crazy about us. We answer, also silently, “I have no freaking idea, but glory be.”
Pillow in the Car
There were days when he picked me up from work with a pillow in the car so that I could rest my head on our way to dinner.
I never pumped my own gas or carried in my own groceries; he was there for that.
There are no pillows in the car now, not for me at least.
I pump my own gas while playing peek-a-boo with one babe and refereeing an argument between the other two.
I carry in my own groceries with a baby on my hip.
This, actually, was the plan. This was the dream. This was our choice and our hope and our wish, and I would dream and choose and hope and wish for it all again in a heartbeat.
There are no regrets here.
There are now new dreams and hopes and wishes for simple things that we no longer take for granted, like a pillow in the car, a dinner sitting down, a night alone together.