Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Learning What It Means

I got fidgety.
Never loved the wintery mantle.
Still haven't figured something out for January that I totally love up there.

So I went on to love month, and decided that from here on out, I'll probably just celebrate the love directly after Christmas.  Why not?

As I got into it, I realized I wanted to celebrate the love we have for each other -- beginning as a couple, morphing into family.
And I wanted it simple.

 Family photos.
I chose the candid sepia photo we used for our wedding announcement.
My current most fave picture of Mimi with her dad.
The pic of me laughing as the boys were trying to smooch my cheeks.

The mantle became an expression of something I've been thinking about a lot lately.
The other night Scott and I were talking about the progress we can both see and feel
 that has been made in our relationship in the last year.
I've thought a lot lately about how the person you marry becomes such a significant choice.
You don't even realize how significant it is when you are doing it, even if you hear yourself saying, "This is a HUGE decision, a HUGE choice."
You don't know that yet.

But it's really starting to sink in for me.
When I come away from gatherings with folks that I love dearly, and feel that comfort in knowing that I don't have to explain myself to him.  He understands me in some ways where I don't have to say a whole lot.
That he loves my kids the same way that I do, because they are his, too.
That we have such a collective history, becoming more and more intertwined.
That he has seen, and accepted, a lot of my weaknesses and still is there for me anyway.
That he has forgiven a lot.
We've walked through several trials together, some pushing us apart, and then have had to fight to come back together.
Sometimes that feels like a crazy uphill climb.
But more and more, I just realize how much we share.

It doesn't mean that he always gets me or I get him.
It doesn't mean that we have 100% crossover of our interests and what we understand.
It doesn't mean we always like the same stuff or share the same opinion.
It doesn't mean we respond to everything the same way.
It doesn't mean we always understand each other and never ever get in a fight because of miscommunication (insert: hahahaha).

What I'm learning though?
It DOES mean it's about letting someone enrich your life, being willing to open up and not be scared of the differences or the beauty you find there.
It's about having a companion, and being a companion to someone else.
It's knowing you have someone to go home to, knowing someone will be there.
It's about recognizing the dual journey,and learning to count the steps together and not the differences.
It's about learning how to make better choices and grow up.
It's about humbling yourself and making it not about YOU, but about US.
It's about thinking about the other person, and how they feel.
This can be hard stuff, folks.

Lately for me it has been thinking a lot about being loving.
Choosing to love.
Not expect.
Not define.
Not put within a certain bracket.
Not compare.

Rather, I am trying to appreciate and respect more.
The more I honestly practice this and focus, the more I find to appreciate and respect.
The more I AM a companion, the more I notice how he is that back brace for me, too.
It's a continual give-give.

We have a lot of love to celebrate, a lot of learning and growing and stretching.
Not to mention the 3 little people we have now that just further us.
And being a family doesn't mean you have it all figured out or that things are always pretty.
It's about having someone to share the journey with, someone who helps you learn and discover a lot about yourself.
It means trying and loving and working at it the best you can, and noticing the miracles that happen along the way.

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