After 8 years of marriage, I just had a first kiss

I was driving around yesterday in an attempt to clear this old head of mine.

My head does feel old lately, weighted down by questions and answers and hopes and places my heart tries to reach but never quite does. Driving and listening to music while looking at the houses where other people live seems to make everything feel lighter and younger. So, I suppose was driving in pursuit of my youth when a cheesy country song came onto the cheesy country radio station.

hey, I want a kiss a girl

want to feel nervous before I kiss a girl

but then we do kiss

and it’s the first time

but I’m not nervous anymore

annnnnd I really like it

Because I like kissing new girls for the first time

Okay, I might be paraphrasing a little bit. But that is pretty damn close to accurate.

The timing seemed fortuitous. An old minded girl seeking youthful lightness is reminded by her radio that she will never have a first kiss again. And also, somewhat tangentially, that she should probably get her ipod fixed so that she no longer has to listen to local radio stations.

Eight years into a happy marriage with lovely children and trees bearing fruit it occurred to met that I’ll never have a first kiss again. It’s an odd thing, to think that you’ll never feel a feeling again. I’ll never have that moment of will he or won’t he? Will I or won’t I? What does the shape of his mouth feel like against mine? Will he kiss me into butterflies and desire or kiss me into, “Hey, this was great. Ummmm. Don’t call me because I will be in Africa for the next….ummmm….foreseeable future.” The first kiss is a beginning.

And beginnings are exciting.

Right now, my brain sometimes tries to tell my soul we are in a middle. Riley and I are tired. The kids are a delightful handful. Work is draining. The mortgage is due. There is heartbreak and hearthope. The ipod is broken...forcing me to listen to horrible country music stations that in turn force me to analyze my place in life. It’s exhausting.

A few more miles, one more bad song and I’d worked out that my brain is full of, well, bleep. Listen, yes. Once married you’ll (hopefully) stop kissing new people. But that doesn’t remove the beauty, brightness or surprise of a first kiss. Heavens, I am not the person Riley married eight years ago. And he isn’t the boy I married. We’ve changed. We’ve grown together and apart and back again. We’re developing into the people we’re meant to be. Thank goodness. Could you imagine a static existence? Every day with Riley is a day with a new man. Every kiss is the first time I’ve kissed THAT version of him. It’s fulfilling and exciting and I’ve never tired of it. I don’t need to seek the new when it is standing right in front of me.

Last night, it was late and I suppose we should have been asleep. But I hadn’t kissed the man I married yet that day. So I leaned against him and our lips hovered apart from each other for just a moment. There was just a moment of will he or won’t he? Will I or won’t I? What will the shape of his mouth feel like against mine tonight? Then the moment broke and he pulled me in.

And it felt like a beginning.

The Day Riley Gave Up

No, we are totally clean and orderly and in charge of our own destinies and....

Every marriage has its recurring discordances.

The biggest battle royale to find its way into our happy union takes place in our bed.

And no, it's probably not what your thinking.

I like to cuddle. And most mornings after Riley goes to work, the girls and I cuddle and read books and watch bad Disney movies in my bed until about 8 o'clock. And yeah, sometimes the little munchkins get hungry while we lay around talking about fairies and the tragedy that is the Disney envisioned Pocahontas. What am I supposed to do? NOT feed them crackers and granola bars and goldfish in my bed?

Please.

After all the snack eating and maybe a pillow fight or two, we move on with our day. But, sometimes, even after the most vigorous "I'll just brush my hand across the bed once or twice to clean up the mess", a few crumbs of crackers or granola bars or goldfish remain. But they are so tiny and basically nothing more than a theory of crumbs and it seems like the only way to truly eradicate them is to vacuum the bed and I mean, heavens, who has the time for that? And then I am like, Hmmmm. Maybe making the bed OVER them, the said crumblettes will somehow make them disappear? So I do and then go on with the day.

And then the night comes.

Generally the conversation goes something like this:

Riley, thrashing and pushing the blankets back up off of him: You guys ate in bed again, didn't you.

Me: Ummmmmmm?

Riley: I mean seriously, did you just crush a box of saltines and then pour the contents onto my side of the bed? This is ridiculous. It feels like I am sleeping on jagged sand.

Me: Hmmmmmm.

Riley: Let's not have them eat in our bed anymore.

Me: Totally.

And then two days later we do it all over again.

Last week, we stayed up late working and crawled into bed as tired as either of us have ever been.

Me: I feel bad. Before you even say anything. We totally ate in bed today. And I'm not sure that I got it all vacuumed out of the sheets. Mainly because I didn't vacuum. 

Riley, laughing: It's okay. I've succrumbed.

Guys! Get it? SucCRUMBed? I just about died laughing. And then didn't let the girls eat in bed for five whole days.

Because that's love.