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Monday, January 19, 2015

Kids and Marriage

Having a kid changes the relationship you have with your significant other. There's no way around it, no way to deny it: the relationship you had before you became parents is not and can never be the same.

It is dangerous, but also wonderful. Because when Jace entered the world, he became my priority. Nathan was important to me, of course, but Jace needed me. There were times (like the months of up-every-two-hours-for-feedings) that our marriage fell to the wayside a bit, but then there are also so many times now that Jace makes sure our relationship stays strong. Jace loves to share his experiences with mommy and daddy. He wants to hold both our hands, be hugged and cuddled by us both, and there are few things he enjoys more than going out for the day all three of us. This weekend after giving him a kiss on the cheek, he looked at me, pointed to Nathan and instructed me to "Kiss, mommy." He's not yet three, but he knows that he loves to see the two of us love each other as well as love him.

Which is also why I find it funny to think back to the times and reasons that Nathan and I have been told we wouldn't "make it," and how those things have changed.

I was told (mostly in jest) that my relationship with Nathan would never survive because we are simply too different. First, I am not a sports girl. So much not a sports girl that if football is on TV, I find a book. I mix up baseball team names with football teams (sometimes even claiming the wrong city for a team) and cannot hold a conversation about any sport with a ball to save my life. It's not that I'm incapable of understanding sports, I simply choose not to because it doesn't hold my interest.

Nathan, to the contrast, loves sports. His idea of a perfect Sunday is to spend the entire afternoon on the couch yelling at the players on TV for doing something wrong with the ball. He's tried to engage me in conversations about the players, but it simply doesn't work.

When it comes to food we were also told (again, mostly just joking) that we were going to drive each other nuts when it came to planning dinners because our food tastes differed so drastically. Nathan's history of illness means he doesn't eat much cheese, canceling out some of my favorite things to eat like mac'n'cheese. He can't stand meatloaf, and didn't like spicy (that one is changing slowly.) I, on the other hand, detest pork unless it's sausage or bacon, don't touch eggs unless they're baked in something like a cookie, and am completely unadventurous when it comes to trying new dishes.

But here's the funny part in all this, the difference in thinking that those things would drive us apart, and knowing now otherwise, is Jace. My boisterous little toddler ran around the house yesterday saying "football, football, football!" while he and daddy watched a game.

I still don't like pork, and won't touch scrambled eggs, but Jace loves both and will happily eat them with daddy. The truth was, Nathan didn't need me to watch football with him, he just wanted someone in the house to share it with. Jace may not understand the game yet, but he certainly loves to jump up and down and yell excitedly at the TV when daddy does.

Since Nathan has someone to share his football love with, when Nathan and I have time to ourselves we can do something together that we both enjoy. We can make the most out of being with each other without one of us sacrificing our joy.