Friday, June 12, 2015

This Love We Share

Waiting for the dentist...
We're a day away from being gone for two weeks, visiting homes and spending time with loved ones. It's a small consolation prize that Will's shift schedule is very busy while the girls and I share a room every night. (Not as terrible as it could be; not always ideal either!) I'm surprised how much routine we're able to keep going, though bed times are significantly later, which the grandparents all love.

The absence of Will is palpable to me. Staying in his parents's home could be hard; so many memories, and pictures around. (This is also a good thing!) My parents have pictures of Will up as well, and even with more hands on ship to care for and love the girls, my mind naturally wonders what Will is up to without our little attention-seekers in the house, and I'm pleasantly surprised to realize that I never stop missing Will. I always thought our long distance relationship would help mellow those feelings in time. Rather, now, it is our shared work as parents that makes me know a stronger love.

It is not just the love we feel as much as the love we share that matters in this world. While talking to Will over FaceTime this morning, I thought about sharing. We are mostly independent entities - my work as a teacher and his work as an intern do not overlap. Still- we share this work. One of us takes over girls duty if the other needs to play catch-up. I discuss ways he could improve efficiency with his hospital responsibilities (charting and logging, etc.), and he encourages me in the same (with grading). Today, he made a phone call to check on Grace's secondary insurance for therapies before running a couple errands, and I told him how the girls and I spent our morning, and what we plan to do this evening.

I miss Will. Five more days till we are home again, where we will share the same space just as we share in this life. For Will and I, our marriage seems to fall into very traditional roles - I stay at home with the girls (and teach, etc.), and Will goes to the hospital nearly every day. And still, what we encounter in an everydayness that must be shared: laundry, cleaning, appointments, therapies, consistency, meal times, food prep, and routine.

Parenthood feels like mission impossible, and the purposefulness of it is growing on me. A person cannot survive on love alone. People need purpose, want interdependence, and are always looking for ways to create community because it is in this sharing of purpose that true love, in the selfless ways, comes to fruition.

Leo Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina,
Levin looked more attentively at Ivan Parmenov and his wife. They were loading a haycock onto the cart not far from him. Ivan Parmenov was standing on the cart, taking, laying in place, and stamping down the huge bundles of hay, which his pretty young wife deftly handed up to him, at first in armfuls, and then on the pitchfork. The young wife worked easily, merrily, and dexterously. The close-packed hay did not once break away off her fork. First she gathered it together, stuck the fork into it, then with a rapid, supple movement leaned the whole weight of her body on it, and at once with a bend of her back under the red belt she drew herself up, and arching her full bosom under the white smock, with a smart turn swung the fork in her arms, and flung the bundle of hay high onto the cart. Ivan, obviously doing his best to save her every minute of unnecessary labor, made haste, opening his arms to clutch the bundle and lay it in the cart. As she raked together what was left of the hay, the young wife shook off the bits of hay that had fallen on her neck, and straightening the red kerchief that had dropped forward over her white brow, not browned like her face by the sun, she crept under the cart to tie up the load. Ivan directed her how to fasten the cord to the cross-piece, and at something she said he laughed aloud. In the expressions of both faces was to be seen vigorous, young, freshly awakened love.

How do you share in love?

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