Posted by [email protected] on August 2, 2011 at 7:20 PM


by Grace Paley

Here I am in the garden laughing

an old woman with heavy breasts

and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen

well that's who I wanted to be

at last   a woman

in the old style   sitting

stout thighs apart under 

a big skirt   grandchild sliding

on   off my lap   a pleasant

summer perspiration

that's my old man across the yard

he's talking to the meter reader

he's telling him the world's sad story

how electricity is oil or uranium

and so forth   I tell my grandsom

run over to your grandpa   ask him

to sit beside me for a minute   I 

am suddenly exhausted by my desire 

to kiss his sweet explaining lips

Ten years ago right about now, I was picking "my old man" up from the airport.  We headed straight away to a local park where a city symphony was tuning up for their evening Summer concert.  Our family was waiting for us with a picnic dinner.  His folks, his brothers and sister, and my mom and step-dad, my Aunt and Uncle and Cousins, my Brother and his wife, all together for the first time.  It was two days before our wedding.

The whole weekend was one big love fest!  Friends and family flooded back into our lives from important times in our past, to celebrate the future we were committing to spend together.  And we have spent these past ten years together faithfully.  

The first 18 months were euphoric for us.  While many newlyweds suffer tremendously in their early days of marriage, we were giddy!  As an actress I had auditions and sporadic jobs I'd book, but most of my days were spent looking through bon apetite magazines, and coming up with fun menus or new ways to arrange the furniture.  I grew an herb garden and made all sorts of flavorful sauces from scratch.  When Matt came home he'd find the bbq fired up and his wife swimming (sans her suit) in the pool.  Life was bliss.

Then we moved from Texas (where Matt is from)  to California (where I am from) for a new job.  We were back amongst my family and the welcome perfect climate.  While at my mom's house, for the two months before we found a home, we conceived our first born baby.    This next season in our lives was thrilling.  Watching my body grow, knowing that a baby would be ours, but not knowing a thing that would entail... absolutely thrilling.  And then our son arrived, one splendid December day.  

I took him out to Mom's groups at local churches; we went to the park before he could sit on the grass, let alone sit up in a swing; we did mommy and me swim lessons; and played each Tuesday with a precious group of children his age.  By the time he was 14 months old, I was pregnant with our second born Love.  Then two years later along came our third son.

Life got messy at this point.  I'm not referring to the spilled milk, or my painful attempts to nurse my newest baby, I'm not talking about the poop that found it's way out of diapers and onto the furniture...  Life got messy because I couldn't seem to manage it all.  The cooking, the laundry, the cleaning, the park dates, sleep deprivation, the trips to the doctor for baby number three... needless to say my sweet man and I ceased spending good time together.

Oh, we have been so blessed to have my mom and his take the children every now and then so that we can get away together, but in our day in and day out existence, we were simply surviving.  And I began to miss him.  Even as I write those words I sense the miracle of our experience.  So many couples "grow apart" during these years with young ones underfoot, but we missed one another.  We longed for our friendship and the laughter, even when we were too tired or grumpy to delight in one another.  

We are not quite out of the woods yet, but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  One day soon I will have my man again by my side; not running to the left to grab one little hand as I run to the right to catch hold of another.  

I want to live "Here," in this moment, rather than wishing the days away.  I know that when I get "there" at the end of my children's growing up years, I will have my man by my side 'til we're good and old;  but I will miss their popsicle kisses, their declarations of love, and their promises to marry me.  And so I purpose to live "Here" today, and find as many moments as I can along the way to taste tomorrow in my man's sweet kisses.

Categories: Marriage

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Reply Kelli
9:05 PM on August 2, 2011 
I'm so glad I got to be a little part of your first 18 months. Your friendship is what made our first 18 months so wonderful! Love you!
Reply angie
1:19 AM on August 3, 2013 
How did I miss this post the first time around? I love it. I am so grateful that we can look forward to the days when it is just the two of us again -- though I have a feeling we will really miss the littles when we look back on the "here and now."