[Editor’s note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]
It won’t always be like this. Our lives will not always feel like we’re rushing, like we’re perpetually late, like we’re always playing catch up. Life will not always be this raising-three-little-kids level of chaos.
We won’t always have a mountain of laundry to power through and tackle on the weekends because we’ve been too busy throughout the week to give it a second thought.
We won’t always be woken up at 2 am by our baby’s cries or our 2-year-old’s nightmare or our 4-year-old’s accident.
We won’t always lose our train of thought and completely forget what we were going to say because in the five minutes it’s been since we started our conversation we’ve been asked why helicopters sound different than airplanes, why there is so much laundry on the guest bed, if we could go to the park, if we could listen to music and dance…and…what was I saying again…?
Oh, right….it won’t always be like this.
We won’t always spend most of our dinner asking (begging?) our children to ‘take three more bites, please?’ as we scarf ours down, prepping to take on the next challenge of the evening: bath time.
We won’t always be too tired to get dressed up, think of a place to go to, and actually go there—together, by ourselves, to enjoy adult conversation. We won’t always go months between date nights.
We won’t always feel so overwhelmed on a daily basis in keeping up with these three tiny humans who are growing and learning every second of every day.
We won’t always wake up feeling exhausted because we’ve been woken up three different times throughout the night and have early work/children related call times in the morning.
We won’t always feel like we don’t have much left to give each other at the end of a long day because our patience won’t always be tested so hardcore every day and we won’t be as physically and intensely needed by our children the way we are right now.
It won’t always be like this.
One day, we’ll have children who are grown. Who need us less. Who spend less time with us because of friends and sports and things that don’t have anything to do with their parents.
And maybe then we will have more time to be up-to-date on laundry and it’ll be easier to go out on more dates and we’ll have more energy to engage in meaningful conversations with one another before we go to bed.
I think we will have all that. And I do look forward to that special period of time I’ll get with you.
But right now we have all this. All this beauty. All this wonder. All this joy. Right at our fingertips.
I worry that we’ll miss this madness. Will we even know what to do with ourselves if we’re not figuring out bills while listening to ‘I’m Still Standing’ (the Johnny from Sing version, not Elton, obvs) blasting, while cleaning up spilled milk at the same time we’re soothing a crying baby?
We’ll miss the Saturday morning snuggle sessions with our girls when they no longer want to pile into our bed with us.
We’ll miss the family hugs and the ‘Teeeeeam Temple!’ chants.
We’ll miss the dance parties in the living room. And I know as sure as anything that I’ll miss watching you scoop up one of our daughters to twirl around with them.
We’ll miss the sound of giggles before bed as we read stories together and try to dodge the multiple bedtime-avoidance-requests we inevitably get.
We’ll miss the weekend trips to the park and the elaborate storytelling and maybe even all the noise at dinner time.
We’ll miss this stage of our life together. But, hey—there’s no time like the now, right?
So let’s laugh the frustrations off as best we can and sneak each other kisses in those Saturday morning pile ups. Let’s put on a TV show for the girls when we want to have an uninterrupted conversation or go out when our parents are over. Let’s take them on adventures and know that no matter how awry the plans go, that we have each other’s backs because we’re a team.
Let’s keep trying.
It won’t always be like this—no.
But, there will always be something. We’re parents—we signed up for the somethings. So, let’s be in this. Together. Now. Because before them, it was us. And after them, it’ll be us.
One day, they will go off to write their own stories, and I’ll be here, ready to write the next chapter with you. We’re in this together—no matter what the this of the moment is.