My Modern Day Fairy Tale

In light of my recent heartache, I am afraid I am giving the impression that I'm not eternally grateful for all the good that is around me.  The truth is, I'm living a modern day fairy tale.  Sure, we didn't hear about Cinderella's fertility issues after she married Prince Charming, but I like to think that if we did, Prince Charming would be just like my guy-- holding Cinderella as she cried, assuring her that the sun would rise again.

That's just what good guys do.  They hold us, they love us and they believe in us.  Josh knows there will be moments of weakness, and he's there to catch me when I fall... but he also knows that I'm strong enough to get through whatever life throws my way.

Because of where we live, Josh can't take me on elaborate dates or bring me fresh flowers.  For us, both because of where we live and because of where we are in our marriage journey (10+ years in, with three small children) romance looks different than maybe it used to.

Fact is, romance changes in fifteen years.  When we first started dating junior year in high school, romance was all about the cliches.  Holding hands, going to the movies, exchanging love notes.  Now, it's about making each other's lives easier.  Most romantic things Josh does these days? The dishes, bedtime with the boys, and bringing me avocados from the co op. Seriously, does it get any better than that?  

For Josh, me being romantic is making milk so he doesn't have to (he feeds the boys breakfast every morning, and the three of them circling impatiently while he has to make milk-- we drink powdered up here-- is the worst way to start the day).  Me being romantic is offering to put the kids to bed so he can relax and watch Sports Center.  Me being romantic is him finding fresh jeans to wear in the closet on Monday and a sock drawer full of socks.  

Like the rest of our life, our heartfelt talks are often over the din of children running, eating, fighting.  Proclamations of his love aren't in response to deep questions I've asked over a candle lit dinner, but instead in response to the curiosities of our children.  

"What are you scared of dad?"
"Nothing?!? You can't be scared of nothing. What makes you afraid?"
"Well, if something happened to you or your brothers, that would scare me. Or your mom... If something happened to any of you, I would be scared."

Or while discussing our marriage in comparison to marriages we've seen dissolve.
"Well, I love you way more than I love myself.  
Maybe that's why it works."
Cue crying child entering the room hysterically screaming about the Lego piece his brother just stole.

Nothing happens between us that would be scene-worthy in a movie, but in my heart, as those moments play out, I go into slow motion.  Everything around us blurs, and I think, "This is one of those moments."  I stop.  I breathe.  I take note of what he's saying, and how ridiculously in love we still are after all these years.  He's my best friend.  And I can't imagine it any other way.  Next year we will have been together half of Josh's life.  And the year after that, he'll have lived with me longer than he lived without me.  It's the stuff of fairy tales, I tell you.

"Can we wake up now 
to a life of happiness?
Can we be content?"
-Tyler Knott Gregson

This beautiful haiku by my {absolute} favorite new poet/writer is my current life motto.  Yes, life is hard.  But it's also beautiful.  And I want to find myself content with the life of happiness I have. 

I want to be grateful, everyday, to be living out this modern day fairy tale.


Kristin in Alaska said...

That line about romance being the clean socks and fresh pair of jeans on a Monday morning - that's me too. I love that even though we don't have a place to have date night, because we can sit together, every night is date night. He loves that I make him dinner and do the laundry so he has clean clothes for work, and I love that he always drives when I don't want to, no complaints. He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work, with lunch I made for him, and he cleans the windows on my car before he comes in the house (when needed). I love my husband.

Susan Stotz said...

Beautiful post, Shelly :)