I kept the shirt I wore the day we met. I was much smaller then, my pre-baby body not quite holding the same curves it does now. To this day I still find it funny how we never met, yet I had known your dad for ten years. It was almost as if we were meant to be.
Who am I kidding, we are.
I love to open the closet and see the purple tank top hanging there, a remembrance of simpler times, when we were carefree and falling in love. Most of the clothes I wear now have the word “mama” on them or are much more forgiving, representing a new stage in our life together. All my heels have been donated and replaced with sneakers or sandals, something easier to chase a toddler around in.
We used to stay up late talking on the phone, getting to know each other and doing silly things via Facetime, like folding clothes and cooking dinner. We didn’t care as long as we were together, making our relationship work long distance as much as we could over the phone. We would steal weekends away together, relishing in the time we had. Now, we do these things as if they were second nature, passing off shirts to put in drawers and testing spaghetti sauce to make sure it’s seasoned enough.
Oh, and the dates. The nice dinners, walking hand and hand through the mall to get milkshakes. I remember those nights and how easy it was to just pick up and go. When we go out now it’s much more of a production, resulting in hours of prep time, and not on my hair and makeup. It’s all on making sure the baby has everything he might possibly need in case he decides he’s had enough, because trust me, he will have had enough, promptly ending whatever we had planned for the night.
Our son. As long as the sleepless nights are, and as tired as we are from chasing him around, he is our greatest blessing. I’ll never forget the day I knew my love would be second best. When we heard his cry and saw his little hands wrapped around yours, I saw something shift in your eyes. It was like everything aligned, and in that moment, you knew all your life this was what you were made to do—be a dad.
I remember the day he said “dada” and your eyes welled up with tears. Now he babbles away, and you listen just an intently as if it was the first time he called your name. I thought of the moment you would become a father and while I loved you first, I knew I would gladly take second seat to watching you love our son. To watch the smile stretch across his face when you walk into the room. Or to hear his sweet giggle when you do something silly, when of course, I’m trying to be serious, because you always know how to make everyone laugh, even when it’s the worst time.
I’ve realized something throughout falling in love with my husband. Loving your spouse isn’t linear. It changes over time, zig zags and weaves, becoming something different than in those first days. It’s saying goodbye to purple tank tops and milkshakes, and replacing them with baby tickle fights, reruns of Sesame Street, and date nights at home on the couch with Chinese take-out and a really bad Netflix movie. It’s about watching them fall in love with a miniature version of the most perfect person you created together, and knowing that all the love you have for each other will always be walking around on this Earth.
At the end of the day, I don’t know what the future holds for my family, and whether our son will be our only, but what I do know is I look forward to each day with my husband and watching him fall more and more in love with our son. I thank my lucky stars for that purple tank top and will always appreciate the humbling reminder of when we fell in love.