She’s got a way. Twelve years a couple, four years married and two beautiful children later, she’s still got that thing.
Haven’t been able to put my finger on it, but there is something about her that brings out this feeling in me that can only be described as whole. I’m not talking about anything she has specifically said to me or done for me. Not talking about events, milestones, anything in our past or plans for our future. Every day, every moment, there is something about her that burrows deep into my soul and brings up this intense feeling that I cannot explain. She’s got a way.
Its love, but it isn’t. its admiration, but that’s not it, either. Respect, for sure, but that’s not what I am talking about. Its a combination of triggers, like that laugh and headshake when I get her with a good joke, or the expressions she makes when she’s talking about something she is passionate about. When she gets home in the evenings after being away for a few hours taking photos and the girls go nuts, that smile on her face is irresistible. You should see her at home during raw and simple moments with them – those moments I witness from my lone perspective. The little things, like the giddy pride and excitement she has when she cooks a good new recipe, or the way she holds her mouth when she’s focused. The barrel of triggers has no bottom and holds and abundance of things that come to mind, daily, that give me this overwhelming sense of fulfillment. She’s got a way.
I can still feel her head on my chest when we would have movie nights as teenagers. I can still smell that perfume she was wearing on our first date – we went tubing at the lake, I had no idea how to act around her, said only a handful of words and probably no full sentences, got a terrible sunburn and we poured salt on slugs on my patio with five-year-old Holly. Now THAT’S how you secure a long-term relationship in high school, for anyone in need of guidance. I remember the nights we would stay up past her curfew just learning everything we could about each other over the phone. How in the world did we last until 2AM on the regular? She always complimented my terrible songs I would write for and sing to her. I can’t imagine how awkward it must have been to sit and listen to that mess. I think the songs are slightly better now, but still a ringer to go through, I’m sure. We would write little notes and speak to each other in those annoying voices. We kept the notes – those are fun to go back and read now. We were mushy and corny, young and naïve. We took it seriously, though. I knew I wanted to marry her six months into it. Without a shred of a doubt. Fifteen. Knew it. She’s got a way.
Our lives are much different now. Different tastes and interests, different worries and responsibilities. We are learning how to parent together each day, coming together on some things and hearing each other out on others. Trying to be good children ourselves, good siblings and friends. We have a mortgage, a car payment, impending career-choices, insurance, credit card debt and all that other stuff that comes with this stage. We aren’t getting to church as much as we used to or would like to. We have more wrinkles and larger clothing. We still have trouble picking dinners. I no longer have to buy shampoo or deodorant (only one of those is true). The point is, we are much different people in a much different place than we were on our wedding day four years ago, but I am just as in love as I was six months in. She’s got a way.
She is just as beautiful today, even more so in my opinion. I admire her heart and compassion for others. I believe in her dreams and love watching her take risks to make them come true. I respect her loyalty, both to myself and others, and sometimes to a fault. She has wonderful parents who raised her so well. Parents who didn’t quite make it together, but still come together constantly out of love and respect they share for their children and grandchildren. A sister who is her best friend and loves our children like her own, as we do hers. She has extended family that loves her as if they raised her with grandparents at the center who provide an admirable, youthful, loving influence. She is a good great person, full of emotions and a strong will, who hosts the most tender of hearts and desire for good in the world. Absolutely alluring. She’s got a way.
There are no words for what she does to me or for how I feel about her. There is no act I could display to show her. Blessed is the word I use most often. Grateful is a close second. Today, on our fourth anniversary, I feel honored.
I am honored that this person chose me as her partner to share experiences with. Honored that she trusts me with her heart that I will hold with the firmest grip, ‘til death do us part. Honored to be the father of our two wonderful children and the other end of the memories we have made and are making. My hope is that our girls grow up in her shadow and aspire to be just like her; and may each year that passes find us as much in love as the ones we’ve left behind.
Whatever it is, she’s got a way.