It’s gone 2.30am and I’m up with our youngest because the heat has made her very uncomfortable and she can’t sleep. Scarlett has stirred a few times for the same reason but is able to get herself more comfortable and therefore get to sleep. Being up at the time comforting our youngest is not a first for this week, the very hot weather is not as appealing to young babies as it is for a lot of people!
Luckily, I know that in the morning, when at between 6.30 and 7am when Scarlett comes to her bedroom door & shouts out ‘Mummy, Daddy, where are you?’ I don’t have to get up and manage on only a couple of hours sleep. My husband will roll over, kiss me on the head (he thinks I don’t wake up but I am always aware that he does this) and he will get up. He does this most mornings. I get very little sleep overnight and as a result of some medications, I struggle with sleep and early mornings. He doesn’t love them, but he does them. And I appreciate it every day. And I know that when he is exhausted at night, and the baby is crying or Scarlett has woken up, and I tell him to go to bed and I’ll be up whenever I’m able, I know that he appreciates it.
Every morning, on a normal day, there’s a cup of tea waiting for me when I get up, and on hot days, there is an iced coffee waiting for me. My husband does this for me as he knows how much I adore that small but significant gesture. Every day when he goes off to work, I tell him to go and ‘be excellent’, which is something I know means a lot to him, and at some point every day, I kiss him on the forehead. In general, I know that both of us make all of our decisions with the other in mind.
It has been a wonderful few years, but the two pregnancies were incredibly difficult (although our two daughters are the obvious highlights), we chose to build our business at the same time, (we do love a challenge!) and at the beginning of this year we went through the most difficult and traumatic period of our lives. There were times when we daren’t look forward, and just clung onto each other whilst taking one step at a time. The health problems, the epilepsy, the two pregnancies and building our careers have been stressful, fraught and a lot of hard work. And then the recent political situation threw more stress our way (can of worms which I won’t open now as how I was affected personally work wise by it is the tiniest of chapters in the overall scheme of things!) and our days threatened to be dominated by that for a bit.
But throughout all of it, still every day my husband makes me a cup of tea, and every day at some point, and still I kiss my husband in the middle of his forehead (for a specific and private reason). However, aside from those things, over the last few weeks, I have fallen in love with my husband all over again! Without the intense stress and worries, we’ve started having dates, we’ve started talking about the future without saying ‘once this is better/once we know if this is ok’. We cuddle in that rather childish but amazing bear hug way, we’ve been going on walks and adventures without them being before or after some kind of appointment! We’ve realised that all the work we’ve put in over the last few years is paying off.
Our struggles are not over, things will inevitably smack us round the face when we least expect it. For now, we are enjoying many easier happy days; we always have enjoyed our time together but the inevitable strain lessened some of the magic, the same magic that drew us together in the first place. We dance together in the living room again now, we lock eyes in a busy room again (just for a cheeky wink, not just to check if the other is ok!). I didn’t realise it but I’d missed my husband! He’s extremely handsome and has a wonderful sense of adventure. He makes me laugh, I still have a slight awestruck crush on him, and I am extremely lucky to be loved in the way that my husband loves me.
I believe that a big part of the success of a marriage is being able to weather the storms together; I’ve also talked before about how important I feel having similar core values are to a relationship. And I think that another huge third factor is the little things, because they are in fact the big things.
So it’s tough it being 2.30am and pacing around with the baby on one arm not knowing when she might be comfortable enough to sleep. But I know that when I do get to bed, my husband will ferociously guard the opportunity for me to get a good amount of sleep, in the same way that I have guarded his sleep tonight by being downstairs so he is not disturbed. And I know that when I come downstairs, depending on the weather, there will be an expertly made beverage waiting for me. And when he holds my hand when we go out with the girls, I’ll feel that electricity between us, rather than it being a nice supportive gesture in hard times.
This post, I hope, won’t come across as braggy or smug, that’s certainly not my intention. It hasn’t been an easy road getting here, and we’ll certainly encounter more difficult periods in the future. But with two funny, clever, beautiful daughters who mean the world to us, and with a little reprieve in the madness (and, we hope, with a long period of good health to follow!), it’s been extremely worth remembering what we had been fighting for and working for all along.
When we are 80, our grandchildren will joke about some bicker we have over a 50 year old argument or the like, because, knowing us, there’ll definitely be things we’ll never let go of (I’ll forever tease him about Christoph Waltz!). HOWEVER, I hope that the important things, the seemingly little things, will also be discussed even after we are gone. Because what car we have, what kind of house we live in, or what ‘stuff we own’, means nothing in comparison.
“They’d tease each other all the time, but Grandad would never allow a day to go by without making ‘his Lade’ a cup of tea. And Nan would always tell ‘her grizzly bear’ to ‘be excellent’.”
When I get into bed (hopefully soon!) I will cuddle up into my husband, I don’t know whether, like me in the morning, he is aware that I do this every night. I’m so very happy to be able to be by his side, and will continue to do so till the end of time…and in all that time, I’ll still not let him forget about Christoph Waltz!