The other day my mom had the baby and I was out in the city. I got a latte, got my bangs trimmed and spent a luxurious amount of time at my favorite bookstore. I even met a friend and we had red wine and a salad. She has been telling me that she already has problems with her boyfriend whom she is dating for a couple of months only. But she still talks about baby names that she picked out and the marriage date and bachelor party. She said that being with him is more comfortable than being alone.
She also asked about me and my husband. Soon four years into our relationship and now with a kid – “how is it all going?” she asked. Thankfully I can say better than ever. Even though the mission in Mali is hard on both of us. Not being together for a four to six week stretch is tough. When my phone makes the old familiar “bling” noise when he writes me, I feel like 15 or 16 again. Happy, nervous, what did he write? The feeling when we first met, the warmth, the instant comfort and the feeling to have met the other person already at some point in life is awesome. There is no one else who makes me feel this way. Anaïs Nin says in Henry and June: “There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.”
How can I put it? Things are never boring with Jean. When we laugh we really laugh until our bellies hurt. When I think about how Jean and I met, I have to admit that my life changed instantly and how close I was to not meeting him at all. Just funny circumstances and a scarf. And what if I had not met him? If I would have left my apartment five minutes later? Would I live in New York now? Married to someone else? Kids? (But surely not a child as painfully handsome as Joel). Single? How would my career have turned out? Would I be as happy or even happier?
In his arms I felt from the beginning like I sparkled, like the possibilities are endless. I felt loved, as is. No show – just real! Our story may be unremarkable to anyone else but it is our special story. We had bad times, terrible times, and sometimes they have been both of our faults and sometimes not. We have been through promotions, firings, though several moves already, through personal differences and many stupid decisions, bad haircuts, bad clothing choices and also some bad habits.
Then we said” “I do”! in front of our enthusiastic wedding officiant. (“Yoouuuuuuuuu…….!”). We rented our first house together; we moved. We had our baby together, we have hosted parties at our house, we have cooked meals and most importantly we have never stopped even for one second loving one another. I am grateful for Jean and for the past four years. Our story is my favorite. And of course: to be continued.