We have not had a lot of calm in our lives over the last few years...multiple moves, lengthy separations, and the stress of school and work combined to make life pretty frenetic. But this summer...this summer is different. For the first time in our lives together (5 years! wow!), I feel like we have had a peaceful summer.
That's not to say that we haven't been busy - we have. But interspersed with the weekends away, and the visitors, and the daily grind, we have had many evenings where we simply sit on the screened porch in the evening and listen to the neighbor kids create their imaginary world. (No, really - that's what they're doing. We love listening to them discuss how things are going to be in their world, and what they need next....we suspect that we are essentially invisible to them - the grown ups next door - and we love that, since it allows us to eavesdrop on their goings-on.)
It's just so peaceful to sit out there - beer or gin & tonic in hand - discuss the day, watch the birds, pet the dog, and just...be.
For the first few years we dated, summers were our time apart. I had to work - 1000 miles away. We could only take long weekends to see each other, and those were frequently disrupted by travel problems (ORD....oh, how I loathe thee). To spend most (if not all) weekends together - to spend less time in airports - and to just enjoy our house and our dog and being together....I think that is what I will treasure most about this summer.
I suspect that this joy might fade over time, as the memories of those difficult summers fade. They were foremost in my mind this week because I happened upon a trove of emails from that time, and I couldn't help but marvel at the (good) changes in our lives. No, we are not going to have children - and that will likely be a constant source of grief for me. But we have a good life together - a happy life, and a peaceful one.
Of course, the emails also highlighted just how...businesslike...our morning emails to each other have become. Where they used to contain phrases like "can't wait to hold you in my arms again...", they now contain things like "I think we should hit Tar*get this weekend". Romance? Maybe it's in the background now. But I'll take what we have now, and where we are now, any day.