Encounters, episode 3: Husband

His arms are around me, and it’s the best place to be. We’re standing in the kitchen and just sharing a little smoochy time, which still gets me a little fluttery after all these years.

Fifteen years ago this month we shared our first kiss, sitting on a log overlooking the lake. I was wearing blue jeans and a Seattle t-shirt and I don’t know what he was wearing but it was probably flannel. Some things never change, even though we have.

We’ve seen new babies and miscarriages, new cars and car accidents, road trips and trips to the ER and trips down memory lane. We’ve seen loved ones die, watched our body shapes change, moved from apartment to apartment to duplex to house to duplex to house. Between us we’ve graduated four times since our wedding day. He held my hand when the nurse said “push” and when the doctor said “no heartbeat,” and his arms around me has always been the safest place.

I have a lot more gray hair and he has a lot more facial hair. I am redecorated with stretch marks and his eye crinkles don’t completely disappear when he stops laughing anymore. Most of our conversations are interrupted by a catastrophe or world war 12 breaking out in our living room or having to make dinner or yell “knock it off!” or deal with a temperamental washing machine.

It’s okay. It’s a season, just like it was only a season when it was just him and me and a log overlooking the lake.

The radio is playing a Disney princess song and the house smells like a mixture of cinnamon candle and dishsoap and something unpleasant coming from the bathroom. Nothing is perfect, here– not us, not our marriage, not our lives– but this moment, with his arms around me and mine around him, is about as close as it gets.

Little hands grab our arms. A little pigtailed head pokes its way between. “Why are you guys kissing like that? Can I have a kiss, too?”

His arms still around me, he kisses his daughter on the cheek.

Yup. Just about perfect.

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