The other day, Jeannie brought an unpleasant truth to my attention. I forget the details, or rather, I choose not to include them, but let’s just say she had to use a firm tone to make her point. I told her, “I liked you better when you were nice.”
When I first met Jeannie, she was one of the nicest people I had ever met. She still is. She’s just more selective in how and when she shows it. She’s changed.
She had to. When Chris and Craig were born, she became a bionic mother—complete with child-seeking radar, hyper-sensitive hearing, and x-ray vision. As the boys grew, she grew to read their most subtle gestures, hear things in their voices, and see things in their eyes that I could never figure out. She learned to go grocery shopping with a couple of bucks and a handful of coupons. She was an amazing mother to our boys.
Now, we’re in the empty nest, and she’s changing again. Now, she’s cultivating her cooking, baking, and decorating skills…
She’s very different than the girl I married over 35 years ago, and I love her more for it.
I’m sure she would say I’ve changed too, and I guess that’s the point. One of the overlooked joys of a committed marriage is the safety you have in facing necessary changes of life. None of these transitions has been easy. Each one had its share of trial and error. But we found a good place and settled in there until another change was required.
And each of these changes has been intriguing, fascinating, and curiously fun to watch. Each time, with each change, I’ve fallen in love with her all over again.
Jeannie is a different person than the one I married. I guess I’m different too. Our lives are certainly different than when we first started out. Our love is different as well. It’s deeper and stronger than I ever thought or knew it could be.
I have fallen in love with her over and over in our 35 years together. What surprises me, I guess, is how much deeper I have fallen every new time I fall in love with her all over again.