Oh my dear husband….as I look at you across the couch, asleep with the remote falling out of your hand and your glasses still on your face, I flash right back to the early days of our parenting journey.
You would fall asleep in just this same way, but with a baby on your shoulder and a bottle in your hand that was just on the edge of our sweet infant’s mouth, milk dripping everywhere. Both of you exhausted.
All these years later and we are still here, on this couch, falling asleep before we can even make it to our bed. If we could ask our younger selves they for sure would say we’d be in the clear by now. That we would be back to having wild date nights and trips just for two.
They never would have believed that it’s harder than ever to get a night away because 5 kids…yup 5. And that we are up so late helping with AP Science homework for our 16 year old that we are as tired as ever.
They have no idea what is ahead of them…and they have no idea how their love will be shaped and molded and grown by all the years of parenting in the trenches that is ahead of them.
We have been through so much my dear partner in life.
Together we have weathered so many rounds of sickness and stomach flu with these little people, learning to survive as we ran out of clean pajamas and fresh sheets and sanity.
We brought 5 babies home and made it through sleepless nights and teething and trying to figure out who is less exhausted and therefore who is getting up in the middle of the night with the small human we made from scratch.
We have sent 5 kids off year after to year to first days of school, seeing our people through the tears as we watch them get taller and walk farther away as the days seem to go faster and faster.
We have learned to keep each other awake until our big kids curfew each weekend, waiting to hear the the footsteps of the 16 year old in the front hall so we can breathe easily knowing she returned both herself and our vehicle in one piece.
We have been through dance recitals that seemed to go on forever and lost teeth the tooth fairy forgot to collect, and emergency surgeries we never saw coming, and so much laundry and seemingly endless days and nights of making lunches and helping with homework and tucking kids in…and we have done it all together.
Young us would not believe how much we have been through and how while it looks like chaos and craziness and not all like romance, it has been all these times that have made our love into this amazing thing.
Who would have thought some of our most romantic moments would come standing around, me still in yesterday’s makeup and an old dirty sweatshirt, in our darkened kitchen trying to get our teenagers out of bed and to the bus? But…they have.
And those dreams of flowers and candy back in the day have morphed into the incredible realization that you making the coffee each morning before I get up is better than any gift you gave me while we were dating.
And watching you patiently listen to our littlest painstakingly learn to read, both of you curled up in the middle of our bed while you dig deep as he sounds out every syllable, somehow fills me with more love than I felt for you even on the day I walked down the aisle toward you.
And when you reach for my hand as we watch our daughters on stage, filling the auditorium with the sound of their angel voices (that they clearly didn’t get from me) I am filled with a love and the knowledge that having you by my side is still the greatest gift life has given me.
Thank you for loving me so well through all of this my dear husband…even if those wild date nights and trips just for two don’t materialize for a while longer. Please know I’m thrilled to settle for takeout, eaten sitting on this same couch, as we watch Netflix with a glass of wine. This is already my dream come true because I get to share it all with you.
I’m Amy Betters-Midtvedt and I write along with my friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. We write to help find our sanity and our joy and sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with our coffee…or hiding out on Facebook…come and join us! You can also find us hiding out over at Instagram, Pinterest and on Twitter. I have been published on Scary Mommy, Huffington Post, Babble, Mamalode, Blunt Moms, Parent.co, TODAY Community, Red Tricycle and Sammiches and Psych Meds.