Pillow in the Car

I haven’t had a conversation of any substance with my husband for many days.  At night, we fall into our couch to watch a show, and then one by exhausted one, like drunken college coeds, we meander into our bedroom where we indiscriminately pop up throughout the night for bad dreams, lost pacifiers, and blankets that have been kicked off the bed, but that are now desperately wanted on the bed.

I know I love him not because I know him right now; I do not really know him right now.  I know about him – his likes, his dislikes, his family, his history.  But his right now?  I do not really know about it.  I know bits and pieces about right now that have been offered to me on a date night when we are catching up or that come out in between tubbies and bed times for the kids at night before I’ve lost myself to the couch, but there are whole chunks of him, of his days, about which I have no knowledge.

“Did I tell you I was with Hillary Clinton the other day?”
“No, when was that?”

I know I love him like how I remember I know I loved a certain food at a restaurant, a particular city that I visited; he has been catalogued in my mind and heart as Man That I Love.

We vowed to one another to stay with each other in sickness and in health.  What we didn’t vow aloud, and what I believe might be harder than the vows we made on that altar so many years ago, is to remain together through the monotony of daily life, on the days when I forget why I chose to love him and how we got here, in the times when we are working, parenting, cooking, and cleaning the house and babies’ buns so much so that I forget that we are not just companion worker bees, though I appreciate our ability to work side by side to make our family run, but also compatriots and lovers who chose to make a family of our own.

“How in the world did we get here?” we sometimes ask, wordlessly, when it’s all crazy about us.  We answer, also silently, “I have no freaking idea, but glory be.”

Pillow in the Car

There were days when
he picked me up from work
with a pillow in the car
so that I could
rest my head
on our way to dinner.

I never
pumped my own gas or
carried in my own groceries;
he was there for that.

There are no pillows in the car now,
not for me at least.

I pump my own gas
while playing peek-a-boo
with one babe
and refereeing an argument
between the other two.

I carry in my own groceries
with a baby on my hip.

This, actually, was the plan.
This was the dream.
This was our choice
and our hope
and our wish,
and I would dream
and choose
and hope
and wish
for it all
in a heartbeat.

There are no regrets here.

There are now
new dreams
and hopes
and wishes
for simple things
that we no longer take for granted,
like a pillow in the car,
a dinner sitting down,
a night alone together.

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