Sam and I got into a nasty fight last weekend. Which was too bad, because things had been going swimmingly in our marriage for a long time. You know how some years are great and some years are just poke out your eyeballs bad? This had been a great year. And then our daughter was born, and the year got even better. We existed in some sort of love limbo, free of squalor and full of dreamy sighs of gratitude towards the other half of Clara’s existence. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but we found ourselves living out some sort of second honeymoon, spurred on by our thankfulness for the life we created together.
Anyways, that’s definitely over, and we’re working hard to figure out being married and being parents and being gracious to each other…except all at the same time. That’s the real trick, right? The real balancing act is found in that spot where you have conquered parental competency, marital peace, and a good attitude for whatever comes your way. I’ll go ahead and let you know when I get there. According to my calendar, it’s looking to be just a tad shy of NEVER.
So we’ll keep trying, I guess. And praying. Lots of praying. The stakes are so much higher these days, what with a tiny person looking to us for basic survival, oodles of love, and maybe even a solid upbringing along the way. She is a complicated bundle of highs and lows, a magnifying glass for every flaw we try so hard to hide.
That became clear last weekend, when the fight felt bigger and meaner than any fight had before. Even though we resolved the issues at hand, we both walked away with wounds that went unexpectedly deep. Our hearts have all these new vulnerable spots that we’re struggling to understand, and hurting each other is suddenly (and frighteningly) easier than ever.
But hey guys- the good news is right here. Wearing leg warmers and pretending to be big.
It is impossible to stay mad at each other when this smoochie face smiles and crinkles with delight at the sound of our voices. She is a constant reminder of what our marriage is worth, and she makes it difficult to be angry. I mean, honestly, how could I not shout for Sam to “come watch her being crazy in the bathtub!” or comment to him, “Did you see that face she just made?”
You’re right. I couldn’t do it. I had to tell him- I had to share her with him. She is a gift to us because she will always be an example of how much we love each other. Even when we’re contemplating poking out our eyeballs.
Clara is not the center of our marriage. She is not even a part of it. She WILL cause us to test it, and sometimes she will make it seem sweeter. But ultimately, it’s me and Sam. We have to do this together, and we have to walk carefully as we go. Clara will leave. All of our kids will go one day (hopefully) and we will be left with each other. We have to lay a foundation RIGHT NOW, right this second, today, tonight, for a relationship that we promised forever.
I’m crazy in love with my daughter.
But my husband has to be first. That’s hard to understand. Harder than I thought it would be, I guess.
Like I said…lots of prayer.
Oh, and mommydaddyspecialtime. I heard that helps too.
Don’t have to tell this Horney mom twice.