Every morning when I wake up Dan tells me he loves me. He tells me I’m smart, I’m beautiful, or that I’m a great mom. Not always all of them all together, but every day he tells me something that he loves about me. And not in a a way like the cashier at Hannaford says “thanks, have a great day” when what they really mean is “hurry up, next please.” But in a way like “don’t you want to get naked?”
Just kidding. Well, not really that probably IS what he’s thinking – but it doesn’t usually happen and he still compliments me every morning so he’s either a VERY slow learner, or he says those things because he genuinely means them.
I know I’m kind of a horrible person for admitting this, but those compliments pretty much go in one ear and out the other. I hear them, but what I’m thinking is “what am I going to wear today?” and “do I have enough time to shower before Mia wakes up?” I’m already onto the next thing before he even finishes his thought. I completely take his compliments for granted.
Today on the way to work I was thinking about how he says those things every morning, and how incredibly kind and loving that is. How reassuring it is that he still thinks I’m beautiful and takes the time to TELL ME even though I have 15 pounds of extra baby weight on my hips and day old mascara underneath my eyes. I haven’t shaved my legs or washed my hair in a week, but those aren’t the things he notices.
He notices that I got a promotion at work, or that I cleaned the kitchen, or that I removed a spider from the bathroom window without a meltdown. And then he tells me he’s proud of me. How lucky am I?
And that got me to thinking, when do I say that to him?
I’ve been with Dan for almost 7 years now, and he’s always done all the cooking, and all the lawn mowing, and all the fixing of broken appliances, clogged drains (even when its clogged with my long, curly hair), and overgrown gardens. Now that he’s a dad he’s stepped up even more – changing diapers, cleaning bottles, singing nursery rhymes and soothing meltdowns. And he should. That’s his job, too. But just because it’s his job doesn’t mean I shouldn’t let him know I appreciate it, the same way he appreciates me for doing things that are ordinary, expected.
I tell everyone else how great he is. Because, he’s really, really great. But I only ever tell him when he’s fucked something up. Because I’m a
The beginning of relationships is all about “I love you, you’re the one.” And somehow over time that turns into “I love you, will you take out the trash.” And that’s normal. And it’s ok. Life gets busy, kids get cranky, sleep runs low and it’s hard to find time to remember why you love the one you chose, and even harder to remember to tell them. But isn’t it the hard things that are worth doing?
Dan is many things. He is stubborn, he is smart, he is hardworking and short tempered – just to name a few. But more than any of those things, he is uncomplicated. He doesn’t think in to-do lists or tomorrows or IOUs. He thinks that right now, he loves me, and he gives me a kiss. And it’s time for me to put away my laptop and thank him for that, and for making dinner, and for mowing the lawn and for reminding me why we’re in this rat race to begin with.
Because we love each other, and we love our daughter and our dog and our families and nothing else really matters. It can all wait, for at least a minute. So that I can tell him “I love you” and he can hear me. And I can mean it.
Because it’s true. I just don’t say it enough.