“Stop doing that!” my four-year-old son urged, trying to hide an embarrassed smile. Apparently he didn’t like the sight of my husband and I embraced in a kiss. No, that’s not true. He really, really didn’t like it, so much so that Gabriel decided to weasel his way between us in order to physically push us apart.
Adam and I just giggled and he threw a wink my way. It’s fun that we’re already able to embarrass our children at such a young age. Gabriel and his younger sisters will have to get used to it because in this season of life, filled with dirty diapers, sleepless nights, messy floors and piles and piles of unfolded laundry, Adam and I need to sneak in romance whenever we can.
It’s not just kisses, hugs and winks, either. While the physical romance is definitely needed to connect, so are the emotional and thoughtful things. Just last week I went to put our six month old down for a nap and found a love letter waiting for me on her crib’s mattress. After dealing with a fussy baby, it was the perfect spot to find some surprise affirmation and love.
I wish I could say our marriage is always this way – flirty, thoughtful and ripe with gentle touches and knowing glances. But it’s not. More often than not we get sucked into the busy-ness of life, running here, running there, just crossing to-dos off the list before falling into bed at night after finally, finally getting the two-year-old to stay in her room.
Thankfully it usually just takes a playful hug or extra-long kiss to get us back on track. Then the rest snowballs from there.
For example, I was the one who pulled Adam back to bed for a little more cuddling the other morning and then a couple hours later he wooed me with the letter in the crib. His thoughtfulness always makes me want to romance him in return, whether it’s with a package of Sour Patch Kids, a back rub or offering to take the kids for an extra 30 minutes so that he can rest. There are so many things that I can do to remind him of my love, if only I remember to stop and take a few moments to do them.
However, I often tell myself it isn’t as easy as it seems. The two of us are pulled in so many directions that it seems hard to make time for romance when the kids or work are calling. But that’s just an excuse. It is easy. It is simple. True, we are pulled in different directions, which is why we must push ourselves back together. If we’re in tune, everything else will work itself out. Things will be smoother, we can face troubles together, our kids will be happier and we will be happier.
Hearing a lot more of “stop doing that!” will let us know we’re doing something right.