Wednesday, September 11, 2013

the spark

You know those couples who have been together a really long time and claim they always feel those telltale butterflies whenever they see their significant other, as if it was the first time?

Yeah. I call bullsh--.

Don't get me wrong. I am madly in love with Jon. We often act goofy when we're together in the same ways we did in 2006. That could simply be a character trait, but we do feed off of each other's quirks. That being said, those butterflies flew the coop (cocoon?) a looong time ago. We got comfortable, complacent. We got pregnant. We got in a bad way. We started to see the other side of things. We kept working at it, kept trying to reconnect, but those dang butterflies eluded the hail out of us.
Until a few nights ago. I wanted to look at Jon's old pictures on his long-deactivated Facebook account. He and I sat, trying to figure out what email address he used to create it, with no luck. We turned to his current email account's earliest messages to see if he had set up forwarding (he hadn't). It wasn't long before I stumbled across tens of hundreds of emails we had sent one another in our earliest days of dating. They began days after he left everything he knew for Arizona and continued through November of my first year away at school when he finally joined me in Chicago.

And you guys?

I was dating an incredibly sweet, sentimental guy. His words were simple but meaningful. I only got through a handful of them before it was time for sleep, but those emails were a gentle reminder of why I was crazy about this guy in the first place.
When I think of those early days, I remember vividly. The way our eyes briefly met and locked in the car with Heather, Paul, and Matt following the Copeland show on Jon's birthday; the first time he kissed me; the nights we would spend watching Grey's Anatomy at my parent's house holding hands. And when I remember vividly, the butterflies subtly slip back in. Relationships are hard. They are work. More than most other things, they can drive you absolutely bonkers. But a simple reminder of who it was you fell in love with and how he managed to get you to commit long-term when no other boy had been able to is enough to more or less reset that internal angst clock. So while the spark while likely gradually fade away into an ember again, I will cherish these feelings now. This renewed sense of patience, gratitude, and naive bliss. And when that spark reverts to an ember I will seek out Jon's earliest emails in an effort to always remember who the man I married is.

*Yes. Together we have been through many hair cuts, colors & styles. That's love.

1 comment:

  1. As you and Jon grow old together (I know, seems hard to imagine getting old), your relationship will change and grow too. I look back on photos of mom and I from our early days together and long for that youthfulness that has faded through the years. But I still love holding her hand at church and giving her a hug when I get home from work. She is my BEST friend, my confidante, my encourager. The butterflies have indeed flown the coop, but the love for her remains.

    You might want to print some of Jon's emails and tuck them away somewhere - you never know when the electronic version will disappear into cyberspace. I have 33 years (well actually 36 years including our dating years) of cards and notes from my "Pookie" that I occasionally take a peek at. Some of the best literature the world has ever seen!