The sound of silence

This weekend, my parents kept the kids for 2 nights while Josh and I had a little Valentine’s weekend vacation. We stayed in a hotel about 20 minutes from the kids, because this is the longest I’ve ever been away from the twins and I thought I would be terribly worried about them and miss them the whole time. To my surprise, I was not upset at all, and really, I didn’t pine to hold them for the whole weekend. It made me wonder how long it would take to miss them, a week? A month? And why didn’t I miss them? Was I just in need of some down time? Was I relishing the one-one-one time I was getting with my hubby?

We didn’t do anything too terribly special. We got some wine, watched some movies on cable (because we don’t have cable at our house), went to the CONTAINER STORE (BEST PLACE EVER!!!), REI, and the Shane Company, but we didn’t buy anything.  We went to Confluence Point (where the Mississippi River meets the Missouri River)  and had a nice Italian dinner. We had a good time, and enjoyed trying to rekindle the magic of the first years we were together. But we didn’t laugh like we used to. We didn’t fill every moment with stimulating conversations, and we didn’t make others jealous (or gag) with our PDAs. I suppose that is what happens when you become an “old married couple.”

The Mississppi is behind Josh's shoulder, the Missouri is behind mine.

I often compare my life to “Everybody Loves Raymond.” The “fights” they have habitually happen at our house. On top of that, I have a beautiful, blonde haired daughter and twins, a mother-in-law who is a much better cook than myself and whom we see nearly every day, a husband who would make a living out of watching sports if he could, and a house that never seems to be clean enough. I mention this because my weekend reminded me of  one particular episode.

At the beginning of the episode, Deborah and Ray are eating dinner in a nice restaurant. After discussing the kids and their family, the two sit in silence. Deb freaks out that they don’t have anything in common anymore, and that they will get divorced because they don’t have anything to say to each other and they are bored.  But by the end of the episode she sees Ray’s parents share a meal, where neither speaks. They share an intimate pantomime where neither says a word and all their needs are met, by passing things, cutting things, and pouring things for each other. Deb realizes that she is glad that she and Ray could one day share such a simple, quiet connection.

This weekend, I enjoyed sitting beside my husband while we watched a movie, even though we didn’t really talk. I enjoyed eavesdropping on other people’s conversations at the restaurant, and giggling with Josh about it, even if we weren’t having our own conversations. I was completely content to stand in the freezing wind with his arms wrapped around me as we watched two rivers become one, without saying a word. I’m glad to be with him, even if we don’t do anything special. I’m glad to share the silence with him, because we survive the noise, but seldom enjoy it much together.  I’m ok with the quiet, if it means we get to grow old together. Hopefully he feels the same way too, but keeps getting caught looking down my dress from time to time. Despite the comfort of the quiet, its nice to have a little spice, too.

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