Wednesday, May 4, 2011

it's the little kisses

I almost rolled my eyes. 

Not at the mentor who was counseling me with marital wisdom, but at the actual advice.

And when he comes home, I stop what I'm doing and I go give him a hug and a kiss.

I was twenty-two, newly married, and I had read the books, had done the counseling and the courses and had been at this thing for ten eleven months.


I needed to be told to greet my husband when he came home?

We were pro's. We had this thing down. We could start our own counseling practice, we were so freakin' awesome at being married.

And then familiarity set in. The newness wore off. Actual, salaried, you-could-get-fired-if-you-don't-take-this-seriously kinds of jobs, with the stress they generated, came into play.

Oh, and kids.

Shouldn't forget we had kids.

So, seven anniversaries, two pregnancies, five moves, eleven hairstyles, six cars, seventy, eighty, a hundred {?} fights, and a hundred and one make-up's after that conversation, her words still haunt me.

They catch me, soapy hands in sink, when I hear the door open and I think,

           Carter will play with him. Just let me finish loading the dishwasher. 

They catch me, tired body on sofa, baby in arms, and I justify, 
           He'll walk around the corner any minute now.

They catch me, evening routine already in full swing, and I reason that

          I can just smile now and kiss his cheek in a minute.

But I'm wrong about that. About the just-let-me-get-this-done-first business. My husband is my love. He's the one I chose to build my future, my family, with. He's the man I respect the most, the only person on earth with whom I am to work out the weighty mystery of marital covenant.

He's more than a room-mate, more than a break from my kids, more than an extra set of hands to help me get my stuff done.

He is my husband, and love is my first charge.  

My mentor was right. And her tidbit of marital advice was much harder than I expected.

It's the get-up-and-greet-him hug when he comes home, it's the {every night} goodnight kiss, it's the saying I Love You before hanging up the phone.

It's the little gestures in the hello's and goodbye's of life that keep us kind, that keep us closer to the honor and deference and priority that our spouses should have. They tell us that we are not as busy as we think we are, that our agendas can rest a minute, that simple celebration is more important than uninterrupted task.

It's not complicated, it's not sexy, but it sure requires me to lay myself aside for a moment. Who knew, after all these years, my mentor's words would ring true? Who knew I'd be preachin' that

it's the little kisses.

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