The quiet glow of the evening catches me on the brink of exhaustion as the door opens and the green fire eyes of my husband peer the door. He winks at me, scooping up our toddler and kissing him on his dirty cheek. His day has been long and I can see the thin thread he's holding on to because it's the same as mine. There's no rush of butterflies or rush beneath my skin. There's no puppy love sighs, but a half smile that's true, that's real. We've lost the first love luster and have settled into reality. Man. Woman. Child.
There are facts and there are fictions but none of them can really incorporate the rest of his hand on my shoulder or the perfect way his mouth moves when he sings. I can remember the first moment I knew I loved him. I can remember the nervous seconds before he kissed me. I can remember the whirl of my mind when I said that I was going to be his for all of forever, all in white and unable to contain my joy. It's softer now, but it's still there, it's always there.
The baby is singing and sliding in and out of his very blue car. The dog plays chase with her tail and the kitchen wraps himself around Paul's arm. These are the moments I'll remember in the years to come, silent and still as we all come together like the zips of the zipper.
I worry I'll fall asleep any moment but I find the strength to lean in, head against his chest. Years ago I dreamed of soft blue chairs and unwritten songs and everything the way it should be. I wish I could go back and right the wrongs of my mind and tell myself how it would be, how we would be, how happy you would make me. I'd gather it all in a mason jar for the second from the top shelf, waiting and waiting and waiting for you.