Years ago, Orchid and I were in a long distance relationship. For fourteen months we lived 1000 miles apart, yet we never went more than two weeks without seeing one another during that time. The time together was precious. We barely slept those weekends, trying to make the most of every moment together. He missed a lot of flights home.
Time has a different meaning now. With two kids and a closely orchestrated routine, we have perhaps an hour of uninterrupted time together each day. It’s the hour after the kids are asleep and preparations for the following day are completed but before we collapse from exhaustion. That hour alone together invariably involves simultaneous foot massages, a nurturing ritual that carries us into the next day.
The occasion of a date (alone! without the kids!) is an uncommon event. For the first thirty minutes or so of a date, we quietly look at each other and breathe deeply. We try to remember who we are, and who the other one is. My mind rushes with all of the stories I’ve wanted to tell Orchid but wasn’t able to share with him as one cohesive thought due to continual interruptions. Many dates are spent enjoying a leisurely meal at a restaurant so we can just look at each other and talk. It would feel wrong to spend these moments at a place where conversation is impossible. No movie theaters or playhouses. Those few hours of quality alone time are an infusion of energy that reminds me about our connection as the root of the tree we have grown. Its branches reach in seemingly all directions. Beautiful and full.
Changes are afoot. We are still waiting to find out what the scope of the changes will be, but the truth is that any change has the potential to impact our quality time with each other. I feel us becoming closer as we do when the outside world seeps into what we have created. We’re re-exploring the quiet quality time we enjoyed many years ago. The stillness of enjoying every moment together, even if the moments have become sprints more than marathons.
Reminiscing. Re-rooting. Sprouting new branches. Watching the leaves fall as a new season begins.