Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life Years from Now

I have no idea what life will be like for Will and I years from now, but if I had to write a book about it, I think it would go something like this.

I will be sitting on our plush but firm off-white couch in our circa-1925 living room with white trim and bright blue-green walls. Our son, Finn, will be reciting his vocabulary words to me, stumbling through their definitions. I will sit patiently and will try not to sigh as he mispronounces "worry" for the third time. I will laugh with Will later that night at how much he sounds like a little Canadian. Our 10 year old, Will, will be in the backyard, kicking his neon green ball into the goal that he and his dad made last year. Our 13 year old daughter, Emma, will come down the stairs in the middle of Finn defining "confuse". She will be decked out in the trendiest of trends. To me, she will look twenty, maybe twenty-two, a reflection of me from not so long ago.

"Shouldn't you be in a onesie with a bib? That would make me feel better," I will want to say as I bite down hard on my tongue.

She will not look at me as she walks by the couch. I will not be able to take my eyes off of her.

"I'm going. Chels's mom is in the driveway. Byyyeee," she will say.

The door will slam shut behind her and something uncomfortable will settle on my chest. It will be heavy and will force me to take slow, deep breaths. Finn will not notice, but will drone on and on. I will put on a smile for him as my insides curl up in an attempt to comfort my sore heart. I will have a flash of anger as I consider the speed of life. And, a little part of me will mourn for my daughter's youth, when she couldn't tell her right from her left shoe and pants were a tantrum waiting to happen. It will have always been dresses and tights for her before she grew up and fashion came calling. I will wonder if I even knew the difference between brands at 13? And then I will remember that I wouldn't step foot inside a clothing store if it wasn't Gap or AE, and that was when I was 12.

Will will walk in soon after Emma's departure. His tie will be loose, but barely noticeable, and the top button of his shirt will be undone, but you will have to look close to see. His eyes will be tired, but his smile will never disappoint, its ghost forever near the surface. He will always be a fighter, the strongest man I've ever known, despite sleep deprivation and life's stresses. Finn's eyes will light up at his entrance, vocabulary forgotten, as he hurls himself off of the couch and into his father's waiting arms. Will will carry his bundle towards the couch and lean down towards me with expectant lips. I will smile and wrap my arms around his neck, adding my kisses and embrace to our son's. A squeal of delight will resound from the top of the stairs as our youngest, Carrie (short for Carrington) sees her precious daddy come home to her. She will always believe that we all love her the most. And, we will never tell her the opposite, as we draw hearts in the air and mouth, "I love you the most," to our other children over the top of her innocent blonde head, as they greet our message with smiles, blown kisses and maybe even rolled eyes. Our dinosaur-like Goldendoodle will be hot on Carrie's trail down the stairs to greet the man of the house.

Later that night, as the quiet wisps of the childrens' breaths sooth the air, Will and I will hunker down in the center of our massive California King bed, much too big for two people.

I will whisper to him, "Let's be 20 again, right now."

And, he will say, "Ok."

Then, he will reach over and tickle me and I will writhe away from him, but not before sticking a cold foot on his inner thigh. We will laugh until our stomachs hurt, fighting over the covers that we will buy extra large because we can, and remember the nights from our first apartment, when he was dubbed "the cover stealer," and our bedroom was always too hot or too cold or too muggy and always too buggy. And, for a little while, we will be 20 again, until it gets too late and his heavy eyelids can no longer stay open. Then, I will turn my back to him and snuggle into his warm chest. He will rest his scratchy chin on the delicate skin between my shoulder blades, and I will no longer find it itchy and ticklish, but comforting and just right.

"Let's never get old," I will whisper into the dark.

He will grunt in answer, and I will pat his arm.

"We never will."


  1. Mine will be Charlotte Ann (Charlie, for short), Patrick Whittle (Whit, for short), and hopefully, my husband will bring in something witty and beautiful (*ahem* i.e. Carrington) into the equation. ha I love that I'm not the only one who has them planned out. Well, I guess it makes more sense for you, little married one. : )

  2. I loved this. Made me get all teary-eyed for crying out loud. Just thinking of you and Will and all those little blond babies makes me smile wider than the Pacific. Can't wait (I mean, I can, but you know...) Thanks for sharing your beautiful prose. Always a pleasure to read. xox