Happy Cuatro de Mayo, everyone!
What, you don’t celebrate Cuatro de Mayo?
Of course you don’t. Because it’s my holiday. Mine and The Husband’s.
It’s the anniversary of our first date in 2007, and we’ve been celebrating it instead of Valentine’s Day ever since. (I highly recommend this if you’re sick of Valentine’s Day. Replace it with a significant date of your own and celebrate that instead.)
We met at Ohio University my freshman year, but it wasn’t until late in my junior year that the stars aligned and we started dating. Our first “date” was, as most things are at OU, a happy hour followed by a long night of shuffling up and down Court Street with friends. But we found ourselves holding hands the third or fourth bar in, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Nine years covers a lot of ground. We’ve certainly had the opportunity to play out much of our wedding vows — better and worse, in sickness and in health… We probably won’t ever be rich, and we were never really poor, but we lived through the Great Recession together on rice and beans, and we just made a few bucks on a house, allowing me to stay at home with The Baby for a little while, so I’m not complaining.
Parenting, of course, is an entirely new frontier in this relationship, and that uncharted territory was something that really scared us away from having kids any sooner than we did. All the horror stories of fighting and affairs and messy divorces after having children made us wonder how becoming parents would change us — not just individually, but Us, us. We wondered if the glue was strong enough.
Four months in, here’s how parenting has changed us: We spend more time apart.
This has been difficult, because we really like each other.
From grocery shopping to visiting each other’s families to just hanging out when we have free time, we’ve always been (probably obnoxiously) attached to each other. Now that we have a baby, this isn’t so easy. We no longer go to bed at the same time. It’s usually The Baby and me doing the week’s grocery shopping. And if we’re visiting friends or family, one of us (often me, since The Baby is still breastfeeding and I’m lazy about pumping) has to get the baby to nap. So even though there are more of us in the family now, I am finding that solitude is a part of new motherhood that takes some adjusting to, and I’m sure The Dad feels the same way on his new, longer commutes or as he does chores alone as I put the baby to bed.
And yet, when we do have time together, with or without the baby, it’s still time with my best friend.
I was reminded of this yesterday when the three of us were lying on the nursery floor, The Husband and I playing a new game we made up called Mad Lib Story Time: One of us narrates the story but leaves blank spaces for the other to fill in with utter nonsense.
[I’m sure this won’t be funny in writing, but to give you a sense of how to play…
Me, holding lion rattle: This is a lion. His name is…
Me: He works at a…
TH: Dairy store.
Me. Dairy store? Like a store that just sells dairy? Is it retail?
TH: It is a fill-your-own dairy store.
Me: All day long at the Dairy Store, Andy…
TH: Makes sure the bottles are filled to the very top.
Me: Andy’s favorite kind of milk is…
TH: Five percent.
You get the idea. Go be ridiculous with your baby.]
The Husband had me laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face.
Minus the baby, this is just about exactly how our friendship started so many years ago – uncontrollable laughter and an indescribable connection.
I know it’s still really early days in our lives of parenthood, but I’m no longer worried that the glue of our relationship will be weakened by it. Because for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, covered in spit up and drowning in laughter, we’ve got a good thing going.