People often comment on how different my husband and I are.
They try and say it in the most polite way possible, but you can tell what they’re really thinking:
“How the heck did you guys ever get together?”
Somehow our bizarre polarity has, for the most part, worked in our favor. Ry’s laid back glass-half-full-ness balances out my . . . well . . .crazy train.
After being married for 8 years, we had a pretty good flow going. We still had our blow outs, but for the most part, we genuinely enjoyed each others company. We were the vanilla version of Turk and Carla from Scrubs.
But then we had a baby.
It’s almost impossible to describe what that little ball of blubber did to our marriage. On the one hand, everything I loved about my husband was magnified. He was so tender, so excitable at the tiniest development, so attentive to every cry. Watching him with Ash made me feel so blessed for the incredible father my son would grow up with.
On the other hand, I couldn’t stand him.
The give and take that had defined our relationship was out the window the second we loaded that gorgeous babe (somewhat correctly) into his carseat. I hated how relaxed my husband was. How nothing seemed to phase him. How it all came easily to him. And, or course, I could not handle him telling me to relax. Him volunteering to ‘give me a break’ felt so patronizing. I resented him for slipping back into normal life – his job, his hockey team, his friends – with ease. Meanwhile, I was still sore in places I really didn’t think God intended for us to be sore in, my boobs were infected from yet another bout of mastitis, and my self-worth, identity, and sanity had evaporated overnight. Plus, I felt fat.
So we fought. A lot. We fought about the BIG things (If you love me, why are you working all the time?) and the minute things (If you love me, why is there no #$%# chocolate in this house?).
It didn’t help that we were both physically and emotionally spent. Evenings were verifiable land mines. We watched a lot of TV to avoid the seemingly inevitable confrontation.
One night, about six months after Ash was born, we were sitting on the couch. On opposite sides. Ry was watching something with vampires or aliens or a comeback football team, while I was fiddling about on the laptop.
I was mindlessly scrolling through Groupon when something caught my eye:
A six night stay in Ireland.
Now neither of us had ever been to Europe. But Ireland had been on the top of our list for some time. It had the jaw-dropping landscapes and sweeping coastlines we both hankered after when searching out vacation destinations.
It seemed like a once in a lifetime kind of trip.
But we couldn’t go. I mean, we had just had a baby. New parents don’t do stuff like that.
They post four million photos of Junior’s first fingernail trim on Facebook. They debate which of them has been peed on the most. They try (and fail) to recall the last movie they went to. They don’t go to Ireland.
Which is why this next part is a little fuzzy.
Somehow, that neon green “Buy Now!” button got clicked. I remember nothing of how it happened. I do remember us staring at each other in disbelief afterwards. Did we really just do that?
Something in our relationship clicked in that split second. I think it was knowing that we actually still wanted to spend time together. We still wanted to invest in this marriage. We had caught a tiny glimpse of Future Megan and Future Ryan. And they weren’t these sleep deprived ornery lumps. They were happy. And adventurous. And – miracle of all miracles- they actually wanted spend time in each others’ company.
We recalled our infinite storehouse of ridiculous inside jokes in the months leading up to the trip. We told them. And retold them.
We needed to.
We needed to remember.
We needed to remember the why.
The why this man.
The why this woman.
* * *
We got back a week ago from our I-can’t-believe-we-pressed-the-button trip to Ireland. And it was the most breathtaking place I’ve ever seen. Ancient castles and lush grassy fields and sheep frolicking all over the road (no, we did not hit any) .
What was the most memorable part, you may ask? The piece de resistance? The cherry on top of the lush green sprinkled in fluffy sheep sundae?
Hanging out with my best friend, of course.