Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Truly, Madly, Guiltily

Jeremiah kisses me goodbye every morning before he leaves for work. If he doesn't, I panic. I assume he's horribly mad at me and that he's definitely not coming home. The problem with this is that he's only been that mad at me a few times in our relationship...and he always came home.

I must be crazy.

Regardless of all that, the first thing I see in the morning when I wake up is Jeremiah's face right in front of me. Sometimes in my sleepy haze I cry when he has to leave, or I whine whine whine. I grunt 'Nooonnoonooo...' and he patiently pries my fingers off of him, kisses me and leaves.

Every time I look at his face, or make him smile and every single time we make love I am reminded of how much I adore him and how glad I am to have him. This is probably as annoying to him as the whining, gripping, half asleep banshee he has to snog every morning.

But all this brings me to my general point. I love him more than anything in the whole entire world. There. I said it. Skewer me now.

Ayelet Waldman wrote this article for The New York Times and was practically burnt at the stake for it. I remember when she was being talked about all over talk radio/television and especially on The View. She was being attacked mostly by Starr Jones...who, last time I checked didn't have any children OR a successful relationship. ANNNNDDDD now I'm attacking her. Wow. It's a viscious cycle.

The last two paragraphs speak to me more than the rest. They speak to me because of my past, of not loving my daughters' father like I 'should' have, of feeling guilty for loving Jeremiah that much more everyday.

I think of the way Jeremiah's left eye dips slightly lower than his right. I think of the scar on his back, the one he can't see. I think of the space of skin between his shoulder blades that pinches when he's stretching. I think of the way he looked at me the first time we kissed after not seeing each other for years and years:
I felt a growing ball in my chest as I got up from the table, from where I had been sitting across from him in a dark pub. I smiled, giggled, leaned over as I was walking past our table, stepping down off of the bench ledge. I leaned my face into his and I could feel the warmth explode in front of us, circling and exploding in tight spirals.
After we kissed I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My face was bubblegum pink, my eyes glossy and shiny, I felt thinner, I felt...joyful.

And if my children resent having been moons rather than the sun? If they berate me for not having loved them enough? If they call me a bad mother?

I will tell them that I wish for them a love like I have for their father. I will tell them that they are my children, and they deserve both to love and be loved like that. I will tell them to settle for nothing less than what they saw when they looked at me, looking at him.

16 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

Lovely words at the end there, inspiring. Of course, I get a slap round the face if I'm too close in the morning. But it's a slap of love. that's what I tell myself.

Maura Kathleen said...

Beautiful.

Miss Yvonne said...

I hope he reads your blog because that was an awesome love letter.

mylittlebecky said...

both the article and your post just made me feel a lot better. i always worried about what would happen to us after a baby. i don't want to lose myself or us afterwards. i hope i don't.

Unknown Mami said...

I've read the article before and I was shocked at the backlash.

In truth, I think it is a different kind of love. I do not expect or want my child to be the center of my Universe and they are meant to leave. As for my Love, I want our love to grow and always be the center of our Universe and I never want to be without him.

Mel said...

Beautiful post. I adore my husband too, and I actually was a little sad right before the babies started to arrive, because I knew it was the end of that us, and a beginning of an unknown us, one subject to the demands of children and parenting. It's been mostly great, I still get a kiss every morning (except once, he said, when I made him mad years ago) and the twinkle in his eye and a hug from him can fix almost anything. I wish there were a magic way to keep it all, have it all and love everbody the same way and the same amount, but there's not. So screw the guilt. Stars, moons and suns, all loved, all good. I can live with that.
Thanks for the great love letter.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog, Erin. I am SO happy for you that you have found such a love. I wish everybody could find something as touching and beautiful.

Constructive Attitude said...

good for you.

Ms. Moon said...

Erin- this is an amazing post. I have to tell you that I cannot say I love my husband more than my children. I love them in such completely different ways. And I am so very, very womb/baby/child centered and one of the things I love so much about my husband is that he knew that when he married me and he loved me for that and he has been such a wonderful father to all of my children- the ones he fathered and the ones I had when we met. I feel certain that part of the reason he wanted to marry me was because he knew I would be a good mother to his babies.
But I have to tell you that I am convinced that the most important relationship in a family is that of the parent's. If that relationship sucks, then it reflects on the whole home. I know it does. What child doesn't beam secretly when her parents kiss? When they see their parents so obviously in love and caring about each other, it is as if the foundation of their world is all good and set in stone.
And like Unknown Mami said, the children grow up and move out and if we are very, very lucky, we will get to spend the rest of our lives with these people to whom we are pledged and who have shared the journey and whose faces make us swoon.
Again- great post.

j said...

i'm not a mother nor a wife, but i do love and i can only hope my relationship continues as yours does. i like your blog and your knit creations! i found you through otherworldlyone. nice!

J. said...

This is so sweet. three years ago I would have responded with fake gags, etc. as I had no idea what that sort of love was like. But now, I know how great it is.

sometimes we just get lucky huh?

kara said...

is it wrong if one's cat is one's sun?

hypothetically speaking, of course.

otherworldlyone said...

I've never felt that strongly for anyone. I've never been married or in a relationship that lasted longer than a few years (on and off).

But I do have a child, and as I'm sure you know by now...I don't behave like your average mother.

I love my daughter with all my heart and I have no idea what I would do if anything happened to her, but I do not agree with making her the center of my universe. For some reason it seems the only way of parenting that is socially acceptable. I've felt pressure to hide my beliefs before, but I try to suppress it. I think my child will be more independent and successful because of my...distance, for lack of a better word. Smothering isn't parenting.

I think that article was absolutely fantastic, Erin. And your post as well. You and Jeremiah are so very lucky.

Sam said...

Beautiful. I had read that Ayelet Waldman article (and I've read part of her recent memoir about parenting, too) and think she is brave and fascinating.

And her husband? Totally, totally hot. And smart. And a brilliant writer. How could she help herself?

Also I think it's lovely how you write ("talk") about Jeremiah. You guys are inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I envy you your passion for your husband...and his for you...I really really do.

Jules said...

Are we NOT supposed to utterly and severely in love with our husbands???

Because if we aren't, then why did we marry them?

And I think they should feel they same about us.

I know mine does.