Some days I listen to myself and wonder if my husband misses that innocent, fresh-faced girl he married. You know the one, the girl who had a locked gaze on her man, laughing at even his slightest of jokes. She greeted him after work with a giant smile and warm embrace, and followed it up with a foot rub and lousy home-cooked meal. She was determined to love him well.
Flash forward 13 years, he still gets my lousy home-cooked meal and is secure in my love, but the rest has changed. I’ve changed. My gaze is now divided amongst 3 children, 2 rabbits, unfinished projects and piles of laundry. When he comes home from work, he gets a “Hey Babe. (smooch) I screwed up diner again, should we order a pizza?”
I no longer slink into bed in a silk negligee ready for “theme night”. I fall into bed exhausted. Does he miss that girl from before?
I think we both do! We miss her because she represents a time in our lives when things were simpler. She had time for herself; time to be intentional in both relationships and matters of the home. There were fresh-cut flowers and love notes. There were surprise dates and thoughtful gifts. She was well rested and her mind clear. We both miss her.
I’ve learned though, she was a stepping-stone…a training ground for what was to come. All of that time she took for herself, she was figuring out who she was. Those warm embraces she greeted her man with, they are still there. They just look different. They greet the early risers of the morning and little faces after school. And when she falls into bed exhausted, it’s because she lives a full life, serves her family well, and is doing the best she can.
So although we miss her, we like the new version better. Her love has matured. Her visions of a picture perfect home now replaced by real relationships, often messy, and a love so deep it hurts. And that gaze into the eyes of her man, has roots that have dug deep, persevered, and are grounded in faith. Her gaze now tells a story, her story.
And she’s learned life’s harder, richer, and way better than her doe-eyed dreams.
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