Yesterday I was driving to Florence for a business trip, and I was thinking about my husband. He had made a special early morning trip for orange juice in a vitamin-laced response to my new cough. He was worried that I had to drive three hours in the rain. He made breakfast. He was taking care of me.
I realized that the word "husband" still gives me a giddy little rush. When does this end? I hope it doesn't. I'll try to extend it as long as I can, maybe forever.
Our marriage isn't all giddy happiness, to be sure. I do my best to take care of John and succeed in many ways, but sometimes I load him with unnecessary stress. Okay, every day. I'm a worrier and verbalize everything. He patiently takes it all in and plays whatever role I need: life coach, therapist, revenge-seeking ally. In return, I pick up on his non-verbal signals and respond accordingly. Sometimes I make him laugh in that pivotal moment when bad mood threatens, and we triumphantly save each other from needless despair. We solve each other's puzzles.
Early in our relationship I put one of those quote magnets on our fridge that said "TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER." I thought that on some level, it should be our theme. In many ways, three years later, it is. We're both caretakers, especially when it comes to the other. Our relationship is greater and more complex and difficult and wonderful than that silly magnet, but I like to think of it as our motto.