Whenever I think there is no possible way that I could love my wife more than I do, I am reminded that I can. Sometimes it is something simple like her buying me a bottle of Pepsi when she knows I have run out or sneaking a five-dollar bill into my ashtray as a surprise or jumping my bones when I think she is asleep. Other times, it is much more complex – something that is much more than physical. Something that snaps into focus the love we have for one another.
We do not get many moments where it is just the wife and myself alone from the kids. Aside from those brief encounters in the kitchen where a kiss on the neck is all can do before the Mushy Police show up – in the form of our children with the uncanny propensity to squash all romance and make the remote possibility of a fourth child nothing but a dream. And with a final glance of a passionate spark drenched in the sticky remnants of a melted Popsicle, our moment is gone.
Still my wife makes sure that we get our time together.
Take for example, the television. While she could watch all of our favorite shows throughout the week while I am away at work – she chooses not to – instead waiting until I am home so we can watch them together. It is our together time. Our time to watch what we want, lounging around on the couch watching “Hell’s Kitchen” or “Falling Skies” and sharing how our days have went. These usually means that we stay up until the wee hours of the morning and are totally exhausted by the end of our viewing session, but for us it is worth it.
Last night was another one of our late night/early morning viewing sessions and neither one of us really was in a fully conscious state as we hit the sheets. We kissed and said “I Love You” that in our fatigued state probably sounded more like “Iwubooooo” and quickly followed by a duet of snores. This night however, she reached over for one last loving caress and I held her hand in mine. In my semi-conscious state I remember thinking to myself if I was squeezing her hand too hard and that maybe I should let it go so that her blood flow doesn’t get cut off and we have to amputate her hand in the morning.
But then I felt something. A heartbeat.
I smiled to myself hoping she might feel it as well and in some weird way my heartbeat would grant her some super-fantastic-awesome dreams. You know the ones – where you wake up and you are just a little miffed because in your dream you actually had central air conditioning that worked? Ok, maybe that is just mine. As a laid there next to her, hearing her breathe deeply in a restful slumber I quickly began my decent into my own coma when I felt something else…
At first I thought I was dreaming, but yet as I managed to barely open one eye – I felt it again.
It wasn’t just one heartbeat. It was two. Beating together.
While it could have been sleep deprivation that helped intensify the pulses in our hands, I can only compare it to that of hearing the heartbeat of my firstborn or feeling her kick for the first time. I have always believed that if there was only one person in this world for me – then that person would be my wife. I think that this little moment – this fleeting instant in time where I could have just as easily passed out and missed out in the experience – are the things that make life so fascinating and worth living.
I didn’t wake my wife and I will probably regret it once she reads this, because if the roles were reversed – she would have awoken me. Or at least tried to (once I am out, I am really out). She is pretty awesome like that.