Over the weekend, Parker was invited to his first birthday party. I mean, he’s been invited before, but he’s always failed to even show us the invitation until weeks after the party has ended. This time was different. It was for a female classmate of his and he really, really wanted to go.
Holden, however, did not. And I didn’t expect him to. Not only was he not invited, the thought of spending hours surrounded by 6 year olds was enough to make him crawl out of his skin. Thomas and I had settled on spending the evening with Holden, giving him some much needed time without his clingy little brother. He’d get to pick the activity, where we went for dinner, the works.
That changed the second we arrived at the party. Turns out, Parker’s classmate’s older brother is a classmate of Holden’s, and he’d been waiting for Holden to arrive all day. Our party of 3 quickly turned into a party of two, and we haven’t been a party of two since we became a party of 3 (minus very few failed outings that would make any sane person never want to go out again).
We don’t do coupley things, and we’ve always been okay with that. We don’t have date nights- we actually really like doing family stuff (I know, so obnoxious). We’re not lovey-dovey, send each other flowers, gifts of Valentine’s Day types. We’ve never been that way. We started as friends, and fell in love but it never worked out for us. Not for YEARS, and a couple of falling outs. When we reconnected, we started as friends again, and built on from there. Our relationship has always been based around that. There was no whirlwind romance, sweeping off of the feet, epic love-story behind our relationships. Just two people who were the best of friends who couldn’t make it work beyond that until they grew up a lot. A romantic night out would be…. weird and out of character for us, so what were we going to do with ourselves now? The last time we dropped the kids off on a playdate for an hour or so, we ended up at the grocery store. Not kidding. We wanted to make the best of the evening, so we decided on the typical- dinner out. Why the hell not?
We sat down, ordered our food and drinks, and proceeded to just have a good time for the entirety of our meal, joking with our waitress and each other. We weren’t overly affectionate, and didn’t act any different than we normally would around one another- even with the kids present. We’d ordered a pizza to share, so of course, when we were done eating, we had leftovers and requested a box.
When our waitress came back to our table, she handed us each a box, saying she wasn’t sure if we wanted to split it for when we went our separate ways.
Wait. Hold up. Does she not think we’re together? Mom and pop?
I laughed and informed her that we would, in fact, be leaving the restaurant to go pick up our two children and then going home together, like the old married couple we are.
She gave us a strange (but happy) look and laughed, and said “You know, I usually have my customers pegged by the end of the meal, and I totally had you two all wrong. You were having such a good time together that I really thought you were just a few dates in, still really enjoying each other’s company, not married for a long time.”
Me and Thomas looked at each other, both equally confused. How could that be? What were we doing that threw her off? That made her think we hadn’t been married a long time? Though we were perplexed, we were flattered.
This story isn’t meant to be a sad statement on how younger people view marriage (boring, stagnant)- but why I think it’s so important to marry someone who, above all else, outside of being in love, outside of romance, or holding hands, or public displays of affection, you consider a friend.
Take away everything else from my relationship. Away the falling in love, away the years of marriage- and what do we have? Friendship. We still, always have friendship. Friendship is the absolute best relationship you could ever have. It’s one that doesn’t so easily break apart. Being “in love” is strange, and sometimes fragile. It can be exhilarating, and amazing, and intoxicating, but without a solid foundation, it’s weak. I know that’s not what most people tell you, but without it, I don’t think my relationship would have lasted this long, because it hasn’t always been easy, or beautiful, or romantic, or even good. We’ve been through the lowest of lows- moments I swore we wouldn’t be able to come back from, but we did.
I married my best friend, and while we might fight, bicker, want to scream at each other, not even want to see each other or speak to one another- we won’t break in half, because at the end of the day, we are best friends. We have the kind of solid foundation where even if we don’t feel so much like lovers, we just enjoy being around each other no matter what we’re doing. I’m not a relationship expert, but LIKING each other is sometimes so much more important than feeling the butterflies of being “in love”. I know, all the advice websites and experts might say differently, but friendship has kept my marriage strong, and alive, and we wouldn’t be the same without it.
Weird Things you do for your kids but not Strangers goo.gl/fb/oVuwvG
Tis the season! pic.twitter.com/5VgMLnt22E
I am weak pic.twitter.com/LYdRQ6EZcC
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