Learning to walk the tightrope of motherhood...

Monday, September 6, 2010

What is love?

Oh baby don't hurt me. Don't hurt me, no more.

Sorry...just had to get that little lyrical break out of my system. :-)
Now, more seriously...
Love has been on my mind a lot lately. I recently had a good friend ask me what I thought love meant, and I have a bridesmaid's dress hanging in my closet for a wedding in October. So, I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with my husband, what our love is, and how incredibly lucky I am.
So, I think that love often gets mixed up with a whole lot of other things, especially lust and romance. You've all heard the lecture given to teenagers about love vs. lust, so there's no need to repeat that. But, I think romance is sneakier, and sometimes it sweeps people off their feet and gets mistaken for love. Chocolate, roses, chocolate roses...that stuff is all wonderful, but it's romance...the glitzy make-up the love wears when you just meet someone or when you're dating. Romance is important and there are days when love should wear that make-up. But I think love is more of a "I just rolled out of bed on Saturday morning" kind of thing. It's not always something you want to share with the public, but it is a simple thing to treasure, and a blessing to be grateful for just the same.
When I think about my marriage with my husband, there are a couple of key phrases that seem to sum it all up for us. This is our love:

"Nobody has more fun than us!" Love is making the monotonous fun. It is those silly little spontaneous moments, on the way back from the grocery store or while painting the living room, that build your relationship. They are inside jokes and plans gone awry. Try explaining these moments to anyone, or even trying to recall one to share with a friend, and you'll be stuck. But, they are money in the bank of your relationship.

"Honey, troubles!" My sister just reminded me of this one this weekend. Last spring, when my hormones were ALL out of wack due to pregnancy, there was this one night where the toilet got clogged. I waited and then gave it the ever-optimistic second flush, hoping that just a little more power would suck everything down. Of course, it didn't, and the water started rising and spilling out over the toilet. This is when I yelled the only thing that came to my mind: "Honey, troubles!" And of course, my hubby came running. I started mopping things up, only to knock over the shelf behind the toilet. The adventure finally ended with glass blobs, that had been sitting on a shelf, splattering all over the bathroom, on to the lid of the toilet (where you can still see the scrapes), and on to the floor. My point of all this, however, is that there will be rough times. And there will be times when it seems like it's just one rough thing after another. However, by calling on each other, and teaming up, you might be able to get through your adventure with a minimal number of tears.

"We make a good team." I feel like we've been practicing this phrase a lot lately, as new parents. In fact, I had thought that it was a relatively new phase of our relationship. But, then I remembered that this is actually how we got together. We started dating while teaming up as RAs to organize activities while in college. One of us had the big idea, the other ironed out the details. One did posters and publicity, the other got the money and bought supplies. We have just taken these practices and expanded them to meet the needs of our relationship. In a relationship, you really have to be able to share things with your partner...the silly little thoughts inside your head, the great big worries in your heart, and even the chores around the house. You have to be willing to let yourself go a little bit and know that your partner will be there to catch you. Often, this is harder than being there to do the catching. But, in being vulnerable, you learn to become stronger together.

So, dear friends, in your relationship, know that there will be moments when you will scream, "Honey, troubles." However, if you work together, and celebrate the fact that you "make a good team", hopefully you'll have many, many moments where you find yourself thinking, "Nobody has more fun that us!"

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