There is the song by Bruno Mars, Just the Way You Are. Whenever I hear this I think of my children, more specifically, my daughter. The words are so perfect. They are everything I want her to know I feel about her and more importantly believe about herself. And someday, I hope she chooses someone who feels the same. "When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change. Girl, you're amazing. Just the way you are. "
This is played often in our car. A very thoughtful friend made a CD mix for me and it's on there. Like I said, I associate it with my children. Until I was told it reminded someone of me. What every girl should hear. This, from the man who's contribution for the family sing-a-long to Lady Gaga's Poker Face is 'mum mum mum mah'. 'Cause that's all he can remember or understand. So now, when I hear, 'Just the Way You Are', it is hard for me not to tear up a bit. Or smile.
It's those moments in life that make me wonder what I have done to deserve any of it. I believe those are healthy feelings. Of course we all deserve good things, however, we should never expect them, not always. I admit, I happen to fall on the side of not really believing I deserve very much. I do understand how unhealthy that can be.
This weekend was very peaceful. For once, we weren't running all over the place and because the weather was so wet, there wasn't much we could accomplish outside. This afforded us a lazy Sunday where we didn't have any place to be until 5 in the afternoon. The kids were wonderful as well. Two days in a row, they woke and played together for hours, get this, with NO fighting. Ahhhhhh. We were able to lay in bed in that half slumber, half aware state. I would momentarily panic thinking someone would be arriving soon and then relax as I remembered it was Sunday. It was so peaceful. When the silence broke, it was by Jim's voice. I don't know what brought it about but he was saying the most loving, kind and thoughtful things. I thought to myself, Don't move. Don't speak. Stay still. I was facing away from him and part of me wondered if he was truly awake. The other part of me was afraid to move one way or the other for fear that he would stop talking. Completely ridiculous, I know. It was everything every partner should take the time to say to another. He left me completely speechless. The cherry on top, was our children running into our room for the morning snuggles. I never got to return my feelings. It didn't matter.
I have a drawer and a box filled with the most amazing letters, cards, poems and notes. It seems like a lifetime ago when I received these. Most of these are from our pre-children days. Pre-stress, money worries, house responsibility, days. And there are days when I would tell you it seems like a different man wrote them. We don't always see eye-to-eye. I get frustrated with the way he gets frustrated with the kids. He drives me crazy when he can't see the pile of clothes on the floor on his side of the bed. I am pretty darn sure he has a list for me too! Every year and with every stage of life we find new difficulties as we loose sight and unknowingly say good-bye to the old. And so far, we have conquered most all of them. It's not perfect and it never will be. But it's good. Real good.
This is what I want for Emily and my boys. I am so proud of that. I am proud to be in a relationship that I want for my children to someday have. It's not perfect. But, it's not dysfunctional either. It's perfectly functional. Which, to me, means that when and where there is trouble, it can be fixed. It may take time. It should take time. There is love, tears and lots of humour and laughter. There is forgiveness. They see it all.
The letters no longer come as frequently as they used to. I often excuse the cards too. And he forgets my birthday sometimes. We are busy. But those times, like this Sunday, when he chooses to express himself and say the things that, deep down, I already know, I remember the man he always has been. And this, I know, is far more than I deserve or could have ever expected.