The way we were

I sat on the front porch. The takeout order from the new taco place down the road was getting cold. I was waiting for Shawn to join me, but he was inside negotiating with Blake. Blake wanted juice and he was crying, because Shawn had put the juice in the wrong cup. 

I got up and went inside, stomping a little. I wanted them to hear me coming. 

"Okay, I'm about to get mad," I said. And when I say I'm "about to get" mad, I'm already mad. So what I really mean is that I'm about to start yelling. 

"It's okay," Shawn said. "I'll be outside in a second." 

It was Shawn's turn to be patient. Shawn and I had been trying to have the same conversation all day long, and every time we said, "Okay, where were we?", someone needed this, someone else would whine about that. 

It was our wedding anniversary. We had chosen to spend the day with the children. So, we sat in rocking chairs, eating tacos and being interrupted. I chewed on the unsaid words jammed up in my brain. 

I thought about how some of my best friends are women, and how those relationships span the course of my lifetime. The relationships are built on bonds stronger than the ability to talk all of the time. When we reconnect, we pick up where we'd left off. It's like no time has passed.

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But there's something about marriage, in all of it's togetherness and lack of distance, that creates distance. Unedited details. Noise and interruptions. 

I shifted my thoughts to how we'd spent our anniversary. We'd ordered takeout. We'd spent a couple of hours at the beach. Before that, we'd had gone to the gym. Even with three kids in tow, we'd done the things we like to do together, the things we've done since the beginning. 

Shawn and I never finished the conversation, and I let it go. We would finish it another day, or it would resolve itself, or it would fade into the land of lost conversations. And when I let it go, when I let go of my need to be like we were, suddenly, it was like no time had passed.