Not bad but different

Not bad but different

Doing the dishes this morning, while the baby slept, I remembered we don’t smuggle kittens anymore.

We don’t drink whiskey and we don’t go to shows.

As I scrubbed scrambled eggs off the cast iron skillet you’d made us, I remembered we don’t go out for breakfast much anymore.

Or lunch. Or supper.

We met nearly ten years ago, at the age of 19 each. The first half of our relationship could be described as spontaneous. Adventurous. Flirtatious, even.

And the second half we’ve devoted to our children. Long days, long nights. Scheduled outings, or otherwise at home.

And that’s not bad. But it’s different.

I used to trick you into three too many beers and we’d go dancing. You, with your fast feet, and me laughing.

And now I sing the Black Eyed Peas to you while you stoke the fire, air-dancing the baby on your back, you, now, shaking your head and grinning.

And that’s not bad. But it’s different.

In our early 20s we were sleeping in and staying up late. I held your hand in mine as we walked to Creighton Street from Barrington, or from Spring Garden to Duncan, or even from Lower Water to Preston Street. There was no telling what time of night it was, as we passed locked playgrounds and the vacant skateparks, and began to smell the yeasty sweet stench of bread baking on Quinpool Road in the earliest morning hours.

Here and now, on the days we get both children to sleep before 9:30pm we rejoice in a silent fist-pumping, as our faces meet each other’s in deep awe and amazement for our achievement. You find one of our shows online and we then sit together on the couch, me slumped on you, watching a show in silence, until we both fall asleep at 9:55pm.

And that too, is not bad, but different.

I was your little spoon, but I’ve been replaced by a crusty-faced girl in matching Strawberry Shortcake pyjamas.

I used to ride your back when my feet were sore from walking, but I’ve been replaced by a lighter, but familiar breed who also chooses inappropriate footwear.

You used to let me in your arm-nook at night, but mine’s now coveted by another brown-haired, cheeky being in one-piece pink suits.

You used to sit in my laps at parties, but mine’s been taken by the littlest namesake, still familiarly nervous and shy, as you had been, in social settings.

And that’s not bad. But it’s different.

We treat each other to long showers, in the evenings when the nerves are shot and the emotions begin to run high.

We treat each other to an extra coffee, on the mornings when we can sense our bodies and stamina may just need it.

We treat each other to a reprieve from the tantrum du jour when we hear the other one’s patience wavering.

You wash the dishes and I do the laundry, both with alternating and varying levels of success. And we try not to focus on the unsuccessful days, but rather praise the other on the good days.

We make this life work. Together.

You know my every fault and flaw, and you’re still here. We are tested every day, and you’re still here.

And though our relationship could be seen as more platonic than romantic right now, I know we’ll get back to drives together where you ask to pull over and lay in the tall grass again soon.

I know we’ll get back to Latin America, or Chicago, Toronto or maybe just PEI. But we’ll get somewhere together again soon. Just you and me.

I tell you less, but I mean it more when I say I love you.

Because right now is trying.

But we’re trying. And it’s crazy and dreadful and beautiful and perfect all at the same time. Like only you would know.

12 Responses to Not bad but different

    • Thank you Eileen- this week was particularly challenging for us- reminded me of my great supports.

  1. There is so much love! Thank you for this beautiful glimpse and for reminding me that different is not bad. Xo

Leave a reply

Follow Spilt Milk Doula