[Editor's note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]
I know we see each other every day, but I miss you. We may sleep in the same bed each night, catch up on our days after work, but sometimes I look at you and realize we haven't had a moment together, alone, in forever.
It's like we're stuck in this perpetual role of being “parents" instead of just being “you" and “me." Instead of being “us."
I miss how we could sit and talk aimlessly for hours over coffee or a drink (okay, let's be honest, drinks) and how I felt like I was learning something new about you every day and how exciting that was.
I miss how we would say stupid things out loud, just to make each other laugh.
I miss longing for you. Like those early days when we first started dating and you lived in Jersey City and I was in Brooklyn. I remember feeling desperate to have you come back the minute you walked out my door.
I miss getting dressed up and going out with you.
I miss how we could spontaneously decide to meet up after work for dinner, or a drink, or *gasp* to watch a movie. (What was the last movie we even saw? I really can't remember.)
I miss having adventures with you. Like the first time we flew to Europe together, how terrified we were because we couldn't speak the language, but how exciting and thrilling it was to finally get to see this place we had been dreaming of. We explored the canals of Venice together, hiked to waterfalls in Switzerland and discovered side streets and back alleys filled with amazing restaurants in France. (Remember the eclairs? They were so good.)
I miss learning new things with you. Like what alligator meat tastes like or how to make sausage from scratch. Or how to speak sign language (you were better at that than me, I know).
I miss sharing dessert after a meal. Having one more drink because we didn't have a babysitter to rush home to.
I miss getting lost with you. Getting lost physically, like when we were driving around upstate New York, searching for a swimming hole we never even found, and getting lost mentally. Losing track of time and having the whole rest of the world fall away, because nothing else mattered nearly as much.
I miss bowling with you. I know I'm a terrible bowler and you are a good one, but gutter balls didn't really matter because I loved seeing how happy you were getting those strikes.
I miss trying to impress you. Those days when we didn't know each other as well and you seemed so in awe when you found out about a hidden talent.
I miss being miserable at parties together. You know, those house parties, or warehouse parties where there is a lot going on, but really there's nothing going on.
I miss slow dancing with you.
I miss staying up late with you (and not because it's 3am and the baby's up). Staying up late on purpose because we lost track of time or because we have nowhere to be in the morning.
I miss mornings with you. Not mornings where we have to change the baby's overnight diaper, or make oatmeal, or rush to the doctor's appointment. Slow, quiet mornings, where we had nothing on the agenda for the whole day.
I miss brunch. (And day drinking. I miss day drinking. With you, of course.)
I miss being scared with you. Not being scared of our son's future or the worries and anxieties that come with everyday parenting, but being scared because we're trying something new. Like the time you made me hike through a rainforest in Puerto Rico, and I had to climb down this steep hill by hanging from a vine. A vine.
I miss catching your eye across a crowded room. Seeing your smile at the recognition that you found me among the fray.
I miss pushing my way through people to find you.
Can we promise to focus on being “us" as much as we focus on being parents and friends and coworkers? Can we work on and give as much attention to each other as we do to our son and our lives and all the daily bits of drudgery that we have to deal with, because we're grownups?
Let's just be “you" and “me" sometimes. Let's slow down and really listen. Let's surprise each other (and ourselves). Let's have more date nights and convince my mom to sleep over so we don't have to rush home right away. Let's say I love you more, and linger on those kisses, and whisper late into the night.
You are one of my favorite people in the entire world and I know it's easy to forget each other in the chaos and responsibility and urgency of “life." But let's try. Because I miss you. So so much.