Last week we had a fight. A stupid fight in our kitchen over something so ridiculous I don’t even know now how it began. But it got ugly didn’t it? I said some hurtful things. You said some hurtful things. And I wanted to leave. I wanted to just runaway for a few hours, maybe even a few days. But as you know I didn’t. Instead, we have just been sorta ignoring each other. But earlier yesterday as you were sitting over there in one part of the room, and I in another dishing out the silent treatment, I got on Facebook. Because isn’t that the mature thing to do when you get in to a fight with your spouse? You look at your phone and mindlessly scroll through your newsfeed in order to avoid working out the problems in your marriage? sigh. But despite how immature it was, I am glad I did. Because it was while looking through some old photos of us…photos that are only found on Facebook, I stumbled upon this one. Do you remember this picture? It was taken nine years ago with a cheap disposable camera. I remember that moment and those butterflies like it was yesterday. And how could I forget? Because it was the day I fell in love with you. I remember trying to explain it to my mom a few days later over the phone. I remember exactly where I was standing in the kitchen of my college apartment as I tried describing to her your eyes…“they are blue with some weird orange in it. And they are…well, just…magical.” I remember her laughing and saying, “uhhh huh.” She knew. I knew. You were the one. You were my prince. My knight in shining armor. The one who I hoped to start a family with…
And even now as I see you sitting over there with the same blue eyes that have this weird orange in them, I want you to know that despite the hurtful things I may have said in frustration and anger, you are still the one. You are still the love of my life. My knight in shining armor. The man who I want to have a family with. But the truth is, so much has changed since the day that picture was taken. So much of life has happened since we took that “selfie.” Graduating college…moving (six times)…starting (and stopping) careers…and the big one, infertility. And all of them together have changed who we are as people and as a couple.
But the one thing that has changed us, or maybe me, the most is when we became unexpected foster parents 18 months ago and I instantly and without warning took on this new role as “Mommy” to a beautiful four-year old little princess. And while this new role has brought us so much joy, I know that you have had to take the backseat as I frantically learn how to go from being just your wife, to now your wife and her mommy. I know it’s not been easy for you…for me…for our marriage. I know that sometimes you feel neglected…ignored…even a stranger in your own home. I know that you probably look at me and wonder where the fun-loving wife you married ran off to. And it’s okay if you think this. No really, it is. Because honestly? I often look in the mirror after a long day and wonder the same thing. You would think after 18 months I would have gotten the hang of all the changes. But it’s hard. And I know you know that. But there is something you may not know and something I want to tell you today…and it’s that I am sorry…
I’m sorry I no longer stop to look into those blue eyes with the weird orange in it, but instead blow right past them as I ask you to start her bath water, while reminding you to put your shoes by the backdoor and your socks in the hamper.
I am sorry for going days without asking how you are doing, how work is going, and actually listening, because I am too busy sweeping up the cereal from breakfast or wiping off the counter from lunch. I am sorry for all of the times I get frazzled and yell at you for not taking out the trash, putting your bowl in the dishwasher, or hanging up your bath towel at night. I am sorry for pushing away your hugs or not giving you a kiss because I am on a mission to put away her toys or fold the clothes I left in the dryer. You know, the ones that I have shamefully “refluffed” all week?
I am also sorry for all of the times I take for granted your attention…your presence…your love.
Speaking of love? I am sorry for not telling you I love you. I know I say it when we are getting off the phone or when you are rushing out the door for work, but can I be honest? It’s out of habit. There isn’t much feeling behind it. I am sure you have probably already noticed. But please know that I do. I love you with every fiber of my being.
And just one more thing…I am sorry for not being fun anymore. Because I used to be fun, right? And we used to laugh together, didn’t we? I mean, I know we still laugh, but it’s just not the same. And I know it’s because I have allowed the stress of becoming a foster mommy overnight take away my care-free attitude. It’s taken away my playfulness with you and what little spontaneity I had. But know that I am trying to get back to that place again. It’s just hard. Because there are so many thoughts running through my mind. So many things still needing to be checked off the “to do” list. And so many days where I just go through the motions. But I know these are just excuses. And for that? I am also sorry.
I realize I maybe should have told you all of these things earlier. Maybe I should have been stopping to look into your eyes, the ones that are…well, just magical sooner, but I didn’t. However today I am. I’m choosing to stop and remember that moment nine years ago. That moment when I fell head over heels in love with you. Because no matter what has happened or changed in our lives, I know that I must never forget what took my breath away. I must never forget to stop and remember our first date…our first kiss in a McDonald’s parking lot…or the first time we said I love you. I must never let so much of life get in the way that I forget what started it all…which were those blue eyes with the weird orange in it…
With all my love~
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