I’m packing for our trip to Japan right now, and the suitcase that used to be enough for both my clothes and his suddenly isn’t enough. Our son’s things have completely taken it over. Packing for two was simple. It was familiar. It was easy.
I met Jeff when I was 15, and he 18. We were kids, really, and we grew up together from that point on. Moving in and getting married when we got older didn’t change us much. For the most part, it still felt like we were silly little kids playing house. We lived in a tiny condo in the city. We cooked our own meals, washed our own dishes, and did our own laundry. We would sometimes buy meals from convenience stores and pop in a nice movie and have dinner while snuggled up on our couch, my legs over his. Sometimes we’d forget dinner altogether and spend hours sprawled on the living room floor next to each other, listening to music.
We moved into a townhouse last month. When the truck was loaded and our old place was empty, we looked out the living room window one last time and just stood there in silence. After a few minutes, he said, “It doesn’t feel like we’re playing house anymore.” He put his arm around me, kissed my forehead, and we locked the front door one last time.
We’re finding our rhythm as a family of three. Corwin is the sweetest little boy and he makes us so happy, but the reality remains that parenthood is hard. It’ll test you and what you’re made of. It will chip away at your strength, your patience, and the best of marriages. But oh, when your child smiles and laughs, all the little pieces that fall away find their way back. And you learn to love a bit more and love a little harder than you thought possible every time.
Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake to find my husband and my son asleep and facing each other, with my son’s hand on his father’s cheek, and a myriad of emotions flood me. The boy I fell in love with is a father now. And my son looks so much like him.