Friday, July 11, 2008

The Spark

I have a little housekeeping to do. Firstly, I put up a very short post after the weekend about the number of stages I ran and bands I mixed this weekend. I was going to get in to all of that but really it was just not that spectacular a weekend. The only exceptional things about it were these. I got hired to do a festival that kept growing and I wound up having to cover two stages. While I can turn my big sound system into a little sound system pretty much on demand, turning it in to two small systems wasn't a feat I was sure I could pull off. But I did, and it went well, and I got paid and everything. You would have had to be there for any of the jokes/stories to be funny, so I won't bore you.

The real thing that I wanted to post about was the conversation myself and The Missus had on Sunday night with our former babysitter. A little back story is involved. First of all we go way back with her extended family. I grew up next to her grandparents, have been close friends with her cousins and eventually with her aunts and uncles as well. They're a clan that slowly adopts you and it is truly a wonderful thing to be adopted by the Mc****** clan. Second, she was in a Sunday school class taught by my wife when we were just married. Along with her best friend, we found two of the best babysitters ever in recorded history. Along with that, they seemed to find us easily accessible, young enough to be in touch, but old enough to have a little wisdom to impart. So over the years they've poured their hearts out to us as we watched them grow up.

Well, now they're almost all grown up and finishing up college and now we find ourselves with two more adult friends on the roster. It was high time for a catch up session and we had heard about some drama in the life of Miss J and she came over after the short people finally passed out for what we like to call grown-up time. We parked ourselves in some chairs in the back yard, lit some oil lamps, and she unwound the long and involved story of her current relationship.

I'll spare you all the details but this one. Even though she was in the midst of a real upheaval, what with finishing college and changing locations, needless to say the psyche of a boy in his early twenties is not an easy thing to cope with under these circumstances. But despite all this, her aspect when she described the early parts of their romance was so sparkly and excited, it brought back all my memories of when I fell in love with The Missus.

I didn't realize that this was going to get all mushy, but it's too late now, you'll just have to finish. All week long I've been wishing for those feelings to return for me. With the constant grind of children, house and work growing ever more... grindy, I was starting to think about all the magazine articles and talk show episodes about reigniting the "spark". Then I realized that it was happening all by itself.

While the time for extended snuggling and kisses that launch fireworks has kind of passed for us, I'm finding that "true love", the real stuff of marriage, is in still being able to find that other person through the piles of dirty dishes and laundry. My wife is so amazing with all that she does, and still darn cute in shorts despite the best efforts of our flock, pregnancy is no joke people. Something subtle shifted in my perspective towards her this week and I find that I can't wait to get home to her again. (It's actually a little more complicated than that, when I say home to her I really mean home to screaming children who head butt me in the nernies by way of welcome and refuse to eat dinner for an hour before requesting snacks at bed time, then fighting to keep them in their beds while trying to win the never ending battle against the creeping filth in our house and finally getting to be alone with my love about fifteen seconds before her carriage turns into a pumpkin and she has to run from the ball trailing foot ware behind her.)

Whatever the situation, it's great to have someone to be the apple of your eye, and to be someone else's apple too. The words of love flows freely from the mouths of young people, newly together, but the true language develops in the hard times. Poems and flowers are great if you can manage that sort of thing, but the deepest expressions of love my wife and I have for each other are in the dish suds and oil changes, the meals cooked and the diapers changed. It was what they call a mountain top experience when we exchanged our vows, then the rubber met the road when we had to live them out in an ever increasing state of exhaustion. The worse it gets the sweeter my wife gets and the more I love her. My young friends think I'm crazy, but a fast car and a weekend full of partying will never hold the same draw for me now that I've experienced the mini van full of my offspring and weekends full of laundry and gardening.

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