There are many days I don't like what I see in the mirror. For various reasons. Sometimes, it's something as simple and as shallow as not liking the extra crease at the corner of my eyes. Sometimes it's not liking to see the harsh set of my mouth after I've just chewed out one of the boys. Sometimes it was the mental exhaustion evident on my face after another long day in my hamster wheel, when I had a difficult time measuring progress toward the next rung on the ladder.
Then someone turns on the lights and holds up the big mirror. Films it in HD, where you can see every bump, every blemish, every defect. Broadcasts on prime time. Fortunately, that someone also loves you enough to drop the curtain quickly, before everyone else sees all the details. Was kind enough to keep the curtains closed while it was at its ugliest.
He's given you a laundry list of things that test a relationship. Have tested our relationship. Part of me is embarrassed. You all weren't supposed to know. That we have flaws. That I have flaws.
Whether through luck, or stupidity, or through the natural iterations of a relationship that had its roots in something good, we're back on a path toward closing the gaps. Starting with small things, like remembering to say "I love you", rather than assuming they know. Or appreciating the fact that your husband hasn't asked for a Ferrari in 3 months. Or feeling special because after getting yourself all prettied up for a black tie affair, your honey refers to you as "F---ing Hawt!" at least eight times before the night is over.
Maybe marriage is like a well-built house. The earth shifts, and the foundation cracks, because it was made by humans. It is naturally imperfect. But when it finally settles, even though the cracks don't go away, the house still stands.
Not that I've fooled myself into thinking the earth can't or won't shift again. Hell, I'm moving us directly over a fault line. But at least tonight I feel like even thought we're 800+ miles apart, we've settled, again.
Thank you, my friends, who have believed in us all the time.
Thank you, my husband, for fixing what you could, and for having patience with me while I figured, am figuring, or have yet to figure out what I need to fix.
Or maybe it just comes down to the fact that after 14 years of marriage, and over 17 years together, no one else could tolerate either of our quirks.
Curtain closed. Nothing more to see here.