Happiness in Progress

How I Answered “Are You REALLY in Love with Dad?”

“You are beautiful.”

With my two kids in tow, a random man stopped me in my car signaling me to roll my window down.

That’s when he told me those awkward words, you are beautiful. I hadn’t heard that from a stranger since long before my boys were born and I comfortably took on a leggings, #BedHairDontCare, no-makeup attitude for my errands.

I said “Thank you” and went on my way.

That’s when my 5-year-old piped in, “You must feel the way my friend did when I told her I was in love with her.”

“Well no honey, I’m sure I don’t.”

I went on to explain that while I’m sure he was just trying to be nice, it didn’t really matter because I was already in love with someone. I asked him, “Do you know who I’m in love with?”

J responded after a long silence, “DAD?!”

I said, “Yes!”

He sounded skeptical when he said, “Mom. Are you REALLY in love with Dad?”

Somehow, taking the moment to answer the question swelled my heart.

“Yes. I am REALLY in love with Dad.”

With our 8 year anniversary just a week away, I thought about all eight years have delivered.

I thought about how love had conquered so much.

It was love that got us through the poorer part of richer and poorer, the sicker part of health and sickness and definitely the worse part of better or worse.

I also thought about where we are now – on the better part of our vows.

I thought about the parts of marriage that make marriage worth it – the laughter, support and spontaneous dancing in the living room (even if I’m the only one dancing and he’s making sarcastic remarks).

I thought about what our relationship brought to the world. Two little boys full of light and love.

I thought about walking down the aisle of the sandy Lake Tahoe beach. As my dad commented on the weather, I – with tears in my eyes – said, “Isn’t he handsome?”

As I snapped myself out of the daydream scanning 8 years, I realized I had tears in my eyes again.

I looked at J in the rear view mirror with my sappy-tear-filled eyes to explain again, “No matter who says I’m beautiful. I’ll always be in love with Dad.”

We’re in a good part of marriage right now, but have had our mountains to climb.

How do you move forward past the bad in relationships to focus on the good?

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