There used to be coffee and hot cocoa dates (because up until last fall, I didn’t drink coffee). There were flowers. Pearl earrings. Homemade steak dinners (cooked by Fence, of course, because back then, I didn’t cook, either). Decorated dorm doors for birthdays. Mixed tapes (we are old enough to have made mixed tapes for each other). Wishing on shooting stars. Dances. Late nights talking and staring into each other’s eyes . . . romance and love. And then it was marriage, and the sugary-sweet flutters of a budding romance gradually transformed into a deeper, harder, but also a still-romantic kind of love.
When my husband and I celebrated twelve years of marriage nearly two year ago, we took our second-ever trip without kids, overnight, for one night, in our town. We have known each other for seventeen years, been together for close to sixteen. That romantic thirty-six hours out? It looked like this:
A sunset walk through a favorite mountain park.
Mass at the cathedral, with just us, after a night away.
Coffee at a great local downtown coffee shop. (I drink coffee now, after years of ordering a vanilla steamer every time Hubby and I would go out. It only took fifteen years for me to share in that with him.)
Walking downtown a bit . . . and then . . . wait for it . . . our romance after all these years looks like
. . . school-supply shopping sans kids.
Oh yes, we did a chore while on our anniversary getaway.
Hubby offered, knowing that taking all the kids on errands ranks low on my list of “most enjoyable things to do.”
At first, I thought he was a bit crazy, offering that on our anniversary. I probably groaned inwardly. Then I realized not only was the idea practical (just like my husband to be practical!), it was a truly loving gesture. He knows how crazy it can be taking kids on errands, saw an opportunity for helping me avoid that, and offered to make it happen. Be still my heart. This man knows me and my life and still wants to make things easier for me, even when it meant spending part of our alone time on school shopping.
The romance! Our marriage is full of it; it just isn’t the sappy romance of movies and pop songs. This is the romance of our marriage, our youngish, growing-old-together true love. It is the romance of deeply knowing each other, and anticipating needs and how to help. It is the romance in which we have inside jokes. It is the romance in which the little things really are the big things, the things which cement us together in love more each day.
Ah, wedded love. Our love has changed in thirteen years, but I wouldn’t trade any of it.
Written by Gina Fensterer. Find out more about her here.