I See You
I’m absolutely in love with these Pacific Northwest summers. For all the gloom from October to May, we are given a gift of breezy sunshine every day from June to September. On a sun-filled Sunday morning I woke to a quiet house, the warmth filling in through the window. Ty took the boys out, letting me get some much needed rest. We didn’t have plans for the day but as the morning unfolded what was a day lacking in plans turned into us kayaking on the bay for a day date.
We had been needing some one-on-one time so I last-minute texted a few friends with whom we often swap childcare. We got a yes from our friends who have boy the same age as Harper. (And also understand the need for some getaway time as parents!) Every time we all spend time together the boys either play like best friends or constantly squabble and try their darned hardest to get a reaction out of the other. Yet no matter what if you ask Harper who his friend is he’ll excitedly, a little too loudly, shout “Teddyyyyy!"
After we got to their house and got the boys settled, we hopped in the car and started towards the bay. First we stopped for sandwiches we planned to eat in our kayaks. They were overpriced and for how much we spent I could have made ten. Which is a note we’d always point out during any other time except dates, we never talk about money on dates. (Not that we spend an outrageous amount every time.)
What was so important about this spontaneous day-date though, had nothing to do with sandwiches or how well Teddy and Harper played or how we spent our Sunday morning. Rather, what was so important was that we were on this day date, really seeing each other and remembering that we’re best friends. You see, before we dropped the boys off, before the sandwiches, before those last-minute texts, and even before the glorious morning sleep-in, we had a heated discussion (argument). One we’ve had time and time again. You know, different content, same structure. We are exhausted from having the same fight, apologizing for the same things. This last year has been a wild ride that has left us both breathless. So many joys, so much hard.
I’m learning that marriage can create a safe place to heal. By allowing safe space where we don’t have to perform or hide behind fears, we can rest, those wounds we’ve carried and still reacted out of, begin to have space to heal. And also begin to be triggered, and the closer and safer you are to a person the more the stronger the reaction. (Maybe even meaner.) Turns out your soulmate might not be the one you get along with the most but the one who triggers you the most. It’s all good work, who doesn’t want to be their best self? Or be married to the best version of your partner? It takes just that, work and heaps of grace. Grace for each other; to see that what looks like knives being drawn are old wounds being inflamed and grace for yourself to know what you're reacting to is all to often not what’s happening in the present.
We were kind of just exhausted yet physically rested. We simply put — needed to remember why we work, why we’re vulnerable, why we change dirty diapers, why we love, why we had babies, why we’re on this life adventure together. So on a sunny summer Sunday we dropped our overdone disagreements and held hands. We soaked up the sun, ate our overpriced sandwiches and remembered our whys and renewed our buckets of love and grace.
After the kayaking and after we picked up the boys and after we learned that Teddy and Harper played like best friends we had an in-home family ice cream night. Watching vanilla ice cream drip through Harper’s tiny fingers while we enjoy our own, making eye-contact that says “I see you."