Daniel pointed out to me the other day that my blog seems to have become more about Charlie than about our marriage. He wasn’t saying this as a criticism, he clarified, but merely as an observation. My response was, in a nutshell, “No kidding!” I had noticed this as well, but had figured that the issue was not at all surprising and that there wasn’t much I could do about it. Right now, our life revolves completely around our son—mine especially, since I am with him pretty much 24/7.
We put Charlie to bed around 7:30, then have a few hours in the living room to finish dinner, talk, and maybe watch one of our TV shows on Hulu before we head to our room to get ready for bed in the dark so that we don’t wake Charlie, who is sleeping in our bedroom. That is the extent of the time we’re able to spend alone, for now. Maybe in a few more months when Charlie starts eating some solid foods and can go longer between nursing, Daniel and I can go out to dinner or to see a movie once in a while and leave Charlie with one of my sisters. Until then, although certain aspects of married life have been different since Charlie was born, we are content. We know that eventually, things will be back to “normal,” and that they will continue to cycle through various levels of not-so-normal when more children come along…
And what’s “normal” anyway? The important thing is that no matter what our schedules, our budget, and our other priorities are, and whatever physical and emotional shape we are in, Daniel and I stay connected to each other and keep one another as our absolute priority after our relationship with God.
When I was young, I can remember noticing when my parents would hold hands in the car or share a bear hug at the end of the work day. For me, there was security in those gestures, those little things that showed me that my parents loved each other, just as there was sadness or anxiety when I knew my parents were having a fight. Luckily, with my parents I saw both. No marriage is perfect, but I can’t imagine how it must be for those children who only ever see their parents fighting with each other.
What I’m getting at is what Theodore Hesburgh meant when he said, “The most important thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” If I love my son—and I do, more than I ever could have even imagined—then the best thing I can do for him is to make my love for his father my priority. I want Charlie to see, every day, that Daniel and I love each other so that he can learn how to love in whatever way God has in mind for him.
Vocation is the way God intends for each of us to serve him in this life, the specific path we are each meant to take on our way to Heaven. I don’t know yet what Charlie’s vocation is, but I do know mine. And although motherhood is an integral part of it, my vocation is marriage.