Did you know Chris is a music fanatic? Well, he is. He loves all music. He appreciates the artistry. He isn’t musical himself, but he understands it. He gets music in ways that most people just don’t. He hears things that I don’t hear when music plays. And so a couple years ago, it didn’t surprise me at all when he came home with an old record player he found on eBay. He thinks that music sounds better on albums. “It’s the way you’re supposed to hear it,” he says. He listens to most things on albums now. Current music, old music, and everything in between. I didn’t even know music today was still released in album form, but you can find pretty much anything. And Chris does.
For Valentine’s Day, I gave him the Nora Jones Come Away With Me album because it’s our song. I spent a whole $12.00 and it was one of the most romantic, thoughtful gifts I’ve given him in a long time.
So, on Friday night after I read Bean’s last book to him and kissed him goodnight, I came out into the living room to find Nora’s lovely, familiar, rich voice filling our house. We opened the windows and let the cool air drift in and then Chris and I wandered out to the back porch and sat around our patio table. I kicked my feet up and Chris made dinner on the grill.
And we talked.
About our life now. About Bean. About work. About Gracie. About trips we want to take. About things we want to do. About whether changing our light bulbs to energy efficient ones had made a difference in our power bill. About family. About where we want to be in five years. About where we were five years ago. About Girl Scout cookies. About our taxes. About daycare for the kids. About golf.
We talked about everything and nothing.
And we laughed.
And while we sat there, just enjoying each other, our song floated outside and wrapped itself around us. Like an old pair of perfectly fitting jeans.
I get asked often how becoming parents changed my relationship with Chris. And there are lots of things that have changed. But I think some people worry that having babies will cause their relationship to become unrecognizably different. Sometimes that’s true, yes. But sitting on my back porch with my husband, the same person who has held my hand and kissed me goodnight since I was 16 years old, it didn’t feel different. It felt like us. Like the us we’d always been. And even though I sat there, feet away from my son and with a baby growing in my belly, even though we are in such a different place and living such a different life, even though we talked about parenting and taxes and homeownership, I was still sitting there in that place with my high school sweetheart – the love of my life.
I love my husband today because he provides for our family, because he is a loving father, because he is patient and kind and forgiving in our marriage. But mostly, I love him because he is the grown up version of the teenage boy I fell in love with. Our relationship has changed, our plans have changed, our life has changed. But our love? That’s still the same. Only a little sweeter, a little stronger, a little deeper because we’ve had children together.
Today I am grateful for Chris.