Getting Used to It
I remember how much I loved watching you from a distance. When I was thirteen and feeling empowered with a newfound sense of independence, I took one weekend off Red Cross drill practice and sat below a block of flats beside yours. I wasn’t expecting you to say “hi” to me or even catch a glimpse of you. In some odd fashion, it was comforting to know that you were physically close. It didn’t matter whether or not you knew of my existence or my pining. It even excited me wildly to look upon the pavement that you trod on daily.
It was on that day I caught a glimpse of you. You walked from the elevator to the car. It couldn’t have taken more than 20 seconds, but I replayed the scene over and over again in my mind for the entire week. I went for the Red Cross meeting the next Saturday, where I was handed a small trophy for being the best new recruit that year.
The discovery that you went for piano lessons every Saturday morning occupied my mind. I never went back to Red Cross meetings, choosing instead the 20 seconds of feeling closer to you. Maybe I should have left the trophy for some less enamoured 13-year old.
Now as your husband the same tingles of warmth run through my being when I see you ironing your clothes or reading the paper. I feel truly blessed to be in your presence, where the 20 seconds of ecstasy is so readily available to me.
I told you today that things may change once I start work. I said this in a spirit of caution because we all know how a job seems to consume our waking hours. You comforted me, saying that you’ll learn to live with it.
I guess I’ll have to be realistic and admit that things will change when I get a proper job. I’ll have less time to spend with you and there’ll be fewer lazy mornings, I suppose. But I don’t ever want you to learn to live with having me around less, or getting used to me choosing time at work over time at home.
The term “learning to live with” or “getting used to” comes with such a deadening feeling. I want every moment to be as fresh as the first, and every sight of you as thrilling as when I was thirteen.
And I want to make it a point to give up my Red Cross meetings just to catch a glimpse of you.