I won't apologize for the sentimentality today. I'm jet lagged. I'm stressed. I'm overwhelmed. And I'm anxious about the amount of weeks left to prepare for the twins which, when you figure in possible bedrest and/or early labor, is something like five weeks (maybe) and that just sounds like negative three weeks to me. But I've also reached that point in pregnancy where the fatigue is matched by a weepiness at all things lovely too.
So there's this. A look at what it feels like to reconnect with your best friend. Bliss namely.
And while I was bursting at the seams just a few days ago with insightful points to share with you about vacationing and all the experiences within... well, I can't seem to see much beyond my fatigue and pregnancy brain.
And all that seems to matter after a vacation absolutely 100% packed to the brim with good things is that I'm most happy for the chance to bond with Paul. We drove through L.A. and jammed to our theme song selected for the city of fame and insane drivers, Imagine Dragons' Radioactive, after it had played multiple times on the radio during our short stay. We slipped off our sandals and walked hand in hand across Santa Barbara's beach and just when the needle for our meter o' romance was swinging toward max capacity... we found our dismount off the beach and across grass with our bare feet afforded us a lesson in how to scrub tar off your foot with a dish towel, a bar of soap, and some fierce determination. We ate uninterrupted. We talked about anything and everything we cared to. We made plans. We collected inside jokes and impersonated our own ridiculousness, reshaping our sense of taking ourselves not so seriously around each other. And Paul surely fell in love with me when, as we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, some mystery nickel hit my butt at a frightening speed and I burst into tears for the inteenth time during our vacation. Yes, I've got the bruise to prove it.
I felt immeasurably closer to Paul as we landed in STL than I did when we were taking off just a week prior. But hours later we were already grappling with reality rather than the romance of a blissful trek up the coast of California. All thanks to the ever anxiety inducing twin books I'm making my way through, we found ourselves in the car on the way home arguing about why we were arguing about something we weren't quite sure was what it was. And if that sentence was confusing for you, just imagine being in the conversation. Talking about scheduling help for the time after the twins are born---you would have thought we were trying to negotiate a peace treaty between two hostile nations of which we had never been to or met. Just in case you were wondering what it feels like to prep for twins. Or read books which tell you how to prep for twins.
But I'm just fine with reality, whatever that might be. Illogical arguments fueled by fatigue? I have a feeling that won't be the last one Paul and I will be having this year, as much as it pains me to admit it.
I'm just so very glad that above the most majestic views and mind-blowing food and fancy upgraded Hilton hotel rooms, my heart is happiest when it is closest to my husband's. I love and respect him very much. It saddens me that there have ever been times I've become so busy, distracted, selfish, or disillusioned to not know and feel deeply his great character, masculinity, selflessness and unconditional, supportive love for me. There have been and maybe there will be more moments of fogginess up ahead. Crazy, right? Well, it's true. It's life. We wonder how we are going to really love this person forever because that's a lot of work amid a lot of factors that just aren't promised to us when we put those rings on each other's fingers. And somehow, sometimes we allow our struggles to serve as a wedge between us rather than a bridge to cross. It shouldn't ever be that way, but we are human, and we might find we're not quite sure how to unravel our resentment, disappointment, or broken dreams to see what we saw at first: a person worthy of a whole life's worth of commitment.
This is how marriages die. Some intact. Some formally divided. We find ourselves unsure of how to ever get back to what it was, that magic that astounded us, that captured our hearts and made us want to run off into the sunset hand in hand.
The great realization we should all have---we don't want to go back. The vocation of marriage requires a heartbreaking amount of vulnerability, leaving us grasping for breath when we feel wronged. But it's that very vulnerability which allows for, eventually, someone to know and understand and help us in ways unimaginable at the onset. And once you've gotten there, impossibilities shatter. What we have is something greater than our own measures put together. Our interdependence multiplies our harvest exponentially.
So what is it that helps two weathered souls connect? Dare I suggest it is simply in the act of holding hands. Something there says it all. It says: you, me, and "this" works (whatever good, bad, or ugly thing "this" is at the moment). And the magic of holding hands doesn't need to be on a beach or at a historic landmark. As for me, I plan on grabbing Paul's hand a lot more this year--when I'm scared and unsure, when I want him to know it's us in this together, and when I just want to remember that we fit together and that is one wild and precious gift.