It’s a quiet Saturday morning, and I’m waiting for our Walmart grocery order to be filled. Breakfast has been eaten and cleaned up, the kids and I are dressed, and last night’s load of laundry has been put away. My husband is just finishing with his shower, and both children are playing together in the living room. With nothing to do, I settle on the couch with a book and begin to read. It’s a rare occurrence, but I enjoy it while it lasts.
Some time later, the quiet is broken by the sound of whining. I attempt to ignore it, hoping the kids will sort through their issue themselves. The room is quiet again, and I continue reading.
I’m drawn away from my reading again a few minutes later, this time by the sound of laughter. But it’s not just my kids who are laughing; my husband is too. I look up from my book to find the sweetest, most heartwarming vision I think I’ve ever seen. My husband has our son pinned beneath him, and they are both laughing as our daughter tries to climb on top of her father. My husband whips around, hooking his arms around our toddler daughter, and rapidly brings her to the ground to be pinned as well. Everyone is laughing, myself included, and for the next few minutes, I just watch.
As I watch, I’m brought back to my husband and my courtship and engagement. I recall all the reasons that I fell in love with him, all the ways I found him attractive during those first few days and months we spent together. Years have passed since those days, but as I watch my husband play with our children, I remember them as if they were yesterday. While dealing with the daily grind of life with children- the dishes, laundry, meal prep, etc.- it’s easy to forget about those first days of a romantic relationship. It’s easy to forget how madly in love we were. It’s easy to forget how strong those sparks of attraction can be, but as I watched my husband playing with our children, I remembered.
We sometimes joke that our children have stolen our youth, replacing it with bags under eyes, grey hairs, and wrinkles, but they also have the power to give it back to us, if only momentarily.
As I watched my husband playing with our children, time rewound, and I was carried back to those first days when I was falling in love for the first time. I was reminded of those features that I found so attractive during that time, and I found them so again. Our love is still fairly young, though not at young as our children, and it has matured and deepened since those first dates that we shared. And while our love has deepened and grown, and our hearts have been stretched and widened, it’s also refreshing to remember those first feelings again. I fall in love with my husband all over again, and our love is new and life-giving.
So husbands, if you’re concerned about the state of your relationship with your wives, play with your children. Help us to remember why we fell in love with you in the first place. When we see the joy on your faces and hear the laughter filling our homes, we will fall in love with you all over again. It’s a funny thing, the way the youth of our children can remind us of our own former youthfulness. When you are down on hands and knees with a child riding on your back, or else flying through the halls with a child in your arms, we are both young again. Or at least younger than we are now.
We are young and madly in love, and the feelings of attraction are so strong. And even as the presence of our children reminds us that our love is not so young, that it has had several years to mature and grow just as our children have, watching you reminds us that our love is fuller, deeper, and more overwhelming than it was when it all began. It is a love that gave birth to our beautiful children, and that love has made you even more attractive than when our relationship first began. Do you want to get the sparks flying again? Play with your children, and watch us fall in love with you all over again.