When we first fell in love, we were young and starry-eyed with no idea of what was to come. We traipsed around town, went out late at night, kept strange hours, and had fun everywhere we went.
There were so many things we didn't know yet. About our relationship, about marriage and having kids, about having a kid before being married, and about parenting while also tending to your marriage—that I just didn't understand.
I didn't know that date night after kids would often be carry-out pizza and Moana on repeat. I had no clue that we would have the ability to have a whole conversation that consists of just eye rolls, head nods, and sighs. I didn't know that our idea of a fun outing would mean going to the playground.
I didn't know that I could sleep next to you every night and still miss you.
I see you every day and every night and still find myself missing you. Regardless of the fact that we live under the same roof, share a life, and (come hell or high water) try to find a sliver of "us" time, there are days, weeks, and months when life has other plans.
We both work long hours. There are deadlines, bosses, and clients blowing up our phones and email at all hours of the day. Family and friends require our attention, too. And most importantly, we have a little human being that calls us Mama and Daddy and deserves our time and attention. We are being pulled in a thousand different ways by a thousand different things.
At the end of the day, we see each other for 10 minutes before falling asleep watching ESPN or a late night show.
We know the importance of keeping the fire lit, so we plan the occasional date night or weekend getaway—a night in our favorite city or in our home after we've sent the kiddo to Grandma's for the weekend. We have conversations through texting and the 2-minute phone calls during our day. We tag each other in photos and article links.
And, even so, I still miss you.
I miss the long conversations before falling asleep, the lazy mornings in bed watching the news or sports. I miss being able to have a whole conversation without bringing up the baby's diaper contents or what she ate for lunch. I miss going out for Sunday Funday and having the whole day to ourselves.
You spend long hours each day providing for and taking care of our family. You go in on your days off, covering shifts and scheduling staff. You spend all day on your feet prepping and cooking and baking. And then you come home and help me do laundry and clean the kitchen and help take care of our daughter. Your days off aren't spent resting anymore, but watching endless episodes of Sesame Street, playing dollhouse, making snacks, and wrangling a toddler during bath time.
I have long days and spend long hours providing for our family. I work full-time and juggle being a mom and managing my clients. I cart around our daughter to grandma's house, story times, doctor's appointments, and on errands. I fit in laundry, cooking, and general housework (that typically goes unnoticed).
I prep lunches and meals for the week, go through the bedtime routines each night, sing countless lullabies, and after all the toys are put away and the house is in some kind of order, I sit down in front of the computer to finish up work before finally letting my head hit the pillow.
We both work hard but in our own ways.
None of this is unordinary. We are adults. We aren't strangers to people wanting our time and attention. We wear a million different hats—son, daughter, mom, dad, chef, boss, maid, butler, cook, bottle-washer, chauffeur… the list goes on. And we give priority to do what is right for our family and for our little human who relies on us.
And we miss each other. But the wild part is, it might be a good thing…
In missing you, I remember how much I need you. I remember how much I feel the passion and romance we used to share. And I remember that you are the only man I'll ever need.
Missing you makes me appreciate the little things. It has given me an appreciation to count not only the days and years but to cherish each and every minute we have together.
So while I miss you, I love you more than ever. More than when we were younger, more than when we were still "new." And more than when we had no clue what kind of adventure we were in for.