My partner and I met on September 9th, 1999. Its funny, but I can remember watching her bounce into the room and being floored. I only ‘came out’ to myself a few months before and it took quite awhile to recognize what the moment meant. She was the first openly gay person in my life and was the first person I came out to. She was safe and would eventually become home.
Fast forward ten years, one mortgage, and two children under the age of three. Picture this (and you can)…our children have been sick on and off for approximately nine months. I’ve cut the locs I’ve been growing for almost a decade because spit up, vomit, and sticky fingers are the enemy of my hair. I’ve officially gained more weight post pregnancy than during the eight months I was actually pregnant. Now that our “preemie” is a healthy one year old, I’ve reclaimed my breasts and can finally stop pumping. However, it would take another two years for her to sleep through the night.
My wife and I cycle through work, negotiating child care, cleaning, and feeding. When I think back on these years, I don’t want a date night. I want to sleep for more than three hours at a time. When our children are sleeping, I suffer bouts of insomnia and I think I’m actually losing my mind from lack of sleep.
When I remember these early years of parenting, I’m surprised we’re still married. There were moments when I believed my spouse would purposely wake me up or would leave ‘knowing’ it was a poopy diaper. After all, there were a few times I pretended to be asleep to avoid a crying child. If anyone had asked if there was romance, I would clue them in to the unexploded bomb of raising two children fifteen months apart. Or simply, raising a young child. The arguments we had were brutal, ugly and often nonsensical.
Its been five years since these really difficult years and I have recently started to remember what I enjoy about my spouse. Lately, I feel like I finally have my life back and my best friend. This weekend she surprised me with a ‘kid birthday party’ at the local play gym. I was able to spend time with my kids, close friends, and friends I haven’t seen in years. I was reminded of how blessed I am to have such a cool lady in my life and how glad I am that we’ve made it through the really difficult years of early parenting….not to mention all of the other ‘stuff’.