My husband and I recently celebrated 38 years of marriage. I still remember the day we met as though it was yesterday.
We were introduced after our college spring concert. He was strong and handsome. In fact, he was just too good looking and manly to be real! It would take us another year to begin a relationship. We enjoyed long walks, hours on the phone talking about life and dreams, cheap but fun dates, and sharing stories about our family and friends. We were best friends. That young love was, and remains, solid. I call it “sweet love.”
A lot happened over the years with the raising of our four children, managing life and all it brings—diapers, potty training, car pools, PTA, recitals, ball games, graduations, college tuitions, weddings, etc. I must applaud my husband for being tenacious about not losing us. We had date nights to talk about us and some vacations were spent without children. We cherished private moments alone when no children were allowed. It made sense: We started as two and would end as two. We guarded our relationship because we did not want to be strangers once the children left the home. We intentionally made the commitment that sweet love must stand.
I now understand that if you work on sweet love in the early years of marriage, it can stand the test of time. Keeping your marriage vows, unconditional love, and respect are key. A deep and abiding friendship between a couple is also necessary. The mere enjoyment of being together, talking for hours, laughing until your sides ache, and praying and reading together all help to age sweet love.
As we approach our golden years as a couple, it’s good to remember us.
Have I told you lately that I love you?
The baby was nearly two months old when David had to go out of town for a business trip over the weekend. It would be the first time I stayed by myself since Ben was born.
I was sad to see my husband go for the three days, but I was sure I could handle it. After all, I took care of the baby during the day while David was at work, and I got up with him most of the time in the night.
But Baby Ben had some surprises for Mom, including a sleepless night (getting up almost every hour), followed by a day full of unexplainable crying and refusal to take naps longer than 30 minutes at a time.
By the time David came home I was a nervous wreck. I was in tears while fiercely hugging and kissing him, wrapping my arms around so tightly as if to say I would never let him go again.
That weekend I got a taste of what the single mother’s life must be like. If you ask me, they should all be awarded Purple Hearts. There’s a reason why God set up families to have two parents. For those who do this job alone, my heart goes out to them.
It was then that I realized that I had been taking my husband for granted. Did he know how much I appreciated his help? Did he realize that I couldn’t do this without him? Did he see how much the little things matter, like holding the baby for 15 minutes while I take a shower, or getting me a glass of water while I fed the baby? Or how much I look forward to hearing his voice and talking with him at the end of the day?
That night I made sure he knew.
My greatest asset as a mother is a loving and supportive husband, yet often he is the last to know. Have you, like me, been so wrapped up in the care of the baby that you’ve forgotten your husband? How long has it been since you told him that you love him, really love him? Take a few minutes tonight and tell him why.
Where’s the car?
I think Forrest Gump said it best: “Stupid is as stupid does.”
And yes, we are not supposed to say “stupid” in our house—”ignorant” is preferred. But on this occasion … well, stupid describes it.
Do you always park your car in the same spot at home? So do I. Well, obviously not always.
Therefore, as hubby backed out of the carport, how was he to know that my vehicle was back there? It was not directly behind him, it was off to the side a little—just enough that he totally didn’t know it was there. Until he slammed into it.
Here’s the tough part: Our children were in the car with him. He got out of the car and from inside the house I heard what sounded a lot like someone shouting loudly with duct tape over their mouth.
I must confess that, as I opened the door to see what was going on, I initially wanted to laugh. Here’s this man, frustrated and mad at himself, trying not to lose it in front of his children. The muffled sound of extreme agitation continued even when I was standing right next to him patting him on the arm and looking at the damage to my car.
He looked at me, totally despondent and said, “Sorry.” I looked up, smiled and said, “Honey, it’s just a car, we both messed up, I shouldn’t have parked it there.” He then smiled and tried to shake it off. We looked towards his car and saw that our two children were staring intently.
Later that night we discussed how the children learned a lesson: We all make “stupid” mistakes, we all get angry and frustrated over our mistakes, but in the end … it’s just a car, and we learn from our mistakes.
Note to self: Save this blog and be sure and hand it to hubby some day when one of our children smashes one of our cars. Have duct tape in hand—he may need the real thing then!
This content originally appeared on FamilyLife’s blog for moms, MomLife Today.