It’s pretty easy for me to soften my tone with my girls, to step back and notice their smallness in the big world. It’s simple to see that they are learning, growing, and experimenting and that they are far from malicious.
It’s harder with a grown up. It’s harder with a husband.
Charlie and I are in a really cozy space in marriage where things are bright and easy, forgiveness comes quick, and ‘strive to out serve’ as a vow is still going strong. But I am beginning to realize that a lot of that is a daily nurture we each pick up. It’s a forever asking “does this make you feel loved?” and trusting that what works evolves, a lot, and quickly, and to keep up you have to keep knowing each other.
There are a few things we are doing, lately, that seem to make the knowing easier.
1. Putting away the devices. I took a FB break for all of January, and then only kinda came back. One of the biggest take-aways of that month was the lack of computer time in the evenings. I spent the evening sitting at the kitchen island while the kids played and he washed dishes, I spent them talking with him. And he didn’t spend them alone. This is a habit that has stuck. I’ve kept the phone and internet to a minimum in the evenings (save for those nights he works ;)) and it’s done great things for our love. We don’t have as much of that “we never get to talk!” ache, and instead we are able to keep up with each others’ dailies.
2. Talking about our day to day. Sometimes I unload to my ladies all the the day-to-day stuff and by the time Charlie and I can chat there isn’t much to say. And sometimes he feels like there isn’t much to say to me, because I’m not asking. A way we’ve helped remedy that is two fold; One, we talk during the day. He’ll put me on speaker while he drives for a work errand, or call me on his lunch break just to chat. That keeps us ‘up to date’ on the little stuff that makes up the days. The weird frustrations, random low moments, hilarious kid stories, and quiet time realizations. Nothing feels stale, because it’s all fresh to each other. And secondly, I’ve started listening. I am a chatter, and it’s easy to just get going and then realize I haven’t spent much time investing. So I am learning, slowly, to step back and ask questions and really wait him out. Charlie can take awhile to really unload his day, but if I just wait and am there, it happens. Keeping up on the little things helps to nurture the “best friend” vibe we always have, and it also keeps our relationship from being only kid-centered, or only “BIG TALK” stuff. It’s nice to know how lunch was, or what funny thing happened at his meeting, or what random thought I had during dish washing. Those little things make up the big stuff, and are important. It’s what we did while dating, and it feels good to not have lost that.
3. Keep a short account. This has been something we’ve done forever, because we learned the hard way a long time ago. For us, this means, there are no lies. Not white lies, not “it was easier to just not tell you” stuff. None. Keeping up to date on your “I really wish I hadn’t done this… but I did.” moments. We both have them. All the time. And keeping the turn around on those confessions and heart talks quick is PARAMOUNT to not feeling lied to/forgotten/unimportant/allthat. And right a long with it, forgiveness. Talking till we are there.
Stuff is heavy in other ways. And we are both changing a lot right now. But it feels amazing, because we are changing together and there is no doubt in being right.there. for each other. It’s just almost too good to be this in love. I have no doubt that more big bumps, stumbles, and hard seasons are in our future. But it feels so good to be laying down more stones in the foundation while the lifting is light.