8:25 pm. “Golden hour” for those of us in the parenthood. After 45 minutes of Maisley’s In-N-Out style bedtime routine, and a tiny turd of evidence that confirmed Coura’s constipation, both kids finally gave in to their weighted eyelids.
Ryan is kicked back in his corner of the couch wearing a new robe from Christmas while laughing at a meme from TheDad on Instagram and eating a bowl of ice cream.
I’m ironically sporting my “Ryan’s gone” pulled back hair-do, wearing a striped sweatshirt I bought in 2010, and crunching on a cup of granola. After scrolling for 20 minutes through the same shows and movies we see every night – “you pick, no you pick” – we decide to watch a Vice about Doomsday.
I paused from my crunching for a minute and just started giggling.
“Who have we become!?” I asked rhetorically. “What would our 25-year-old free-bird selves say about us right now?”
Ryan and I have been married for four years as of January 10th. Everything has changed since our wedding day, yet nothing at the same time.
Four years and two weeks ago I was crying in the bridal shop about hating my wedding dress and ended up pulling a very last minute switcheroo.
[Still indecisive, just about less important things.]
Four years and one day ago I was in the emergency room with food poisoning praying that whatever was left of my body would make it down the aisle.
[Currently still dealing with gross bodily things on a daily basis.]
Four years ago we danced to “Forever and Ever, Amen” in front of our favorite people.
[We’re still on track singing that same tune, just a little more broken in.]
Over the last four years we gained new members of our family and lost really important ones. We’ve been broken down and built up. We’ve learned to not have arguments when our heads hit the pillow at night. We’ve discovered what makes each other crazy (why? why do the contents of your pockets find themselves at home on various counter tops around the house) and what makes each other full (road trips with chex mix and a good playlist).
Elbows deep in parenthood, sometimes we feel more like roommates and wanna-be sleep scientists than husband and wife. Other times I look at him like he’s the cute football player I’m flirting with in chemistry class and still can’t believe he’s mine.
When I look at a photo, hold Ryan’s hand or smooch my daughters cheeks, I sometimes miss them. I find myself nostalgic for the present moment, this “time of our life” – even though I am in it.
I wonder what a year from now or four more years will hold. Thank God for golden hour. Thank God it’s him.