My kids surprise me with how mature they are at times. They respond to various situations in ways that would put many adults, including myself, to shame. Like the time I forgot it was early pick up day for E and showed up at his school an hour late (!) and he gave me an unexpected, but very sweet, kiss on the lips as a gesture of his forgiveness. And the times I see C treating her old chicky just as well, if not better than its new counterpart, show me signs of her faithfulness.
This latter example with C really got me thinking about its analogy to marriage. Now that hubby and I have been married for about a third of our lives, I think it’s safe to say we don’t look the same as we did when we met. We’re a little more round in the middle and a lot more wrinkled and grey around the edges. We no longer sound the same either; our backs and knees creak a lot more and our voices are less energetic. We’ve become like C’s old chicky, worn down and not so appealing on the outside. If you compared us with our engagement glamour shots taken 14 years ago, you would see a noticeable difference. That’s how it is with C’s two chick toys. When you see them side by side, you can tell right off the bat which one is the new one.
I had initially assumed C would like the newer, brighter, cleaner chicky more than her old one. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to have new things (kids and adults alike)? That’s why we like to buy new clothes, new toys, new gadgets, etc. But for some reason, C still adores her original chicky. She loves it even though its yellow fur is now matted and sparse and its white tummy is not so white. She loves it so much that sometimes she only wants to play or sleep with it. It doesn’t seem logical that she would choose the older toy over the newer one. But love doesn’t always make sense, does it?
Nope. If I have learned anything from my four year old’s love for chicky, it’s these two aspects of love.
First, love is blind. When we love, we choose to look past the external, past the temporary things. Qualities like smooth skin, a full head of hair or flat abs can be attractive, but they are very fleeting. Sooner or (hopefully!) later, we will all walk a little slower and sag a little lower. If our affection for our spouses was based on appearances, our relationships would definitely be on shaky ground after a decade or two.
Second, love remembers. When we love, we choose to remember the lasting things, namely the memories you have made over the years. The amazingly great or stressful day of your wedding. The first place you made into a home. The job offer you both prayed so hard for. The nights you spent deciphering the meaning behind Lost. The moments you waited together for the result of a pregnancy test. The secret smiles you exchanged across the room. The days you held hands in comfortable silence. The times you finished each other’s thoughts. These memories are lasting and the stuff that real life is made of. And the best part is that these shared experiences will not fall out or fade or grow grey with time. In fact, the longer you are married, the more you will build upon your memories and the stronger your bond will be.
So on this Valentine’s Day, may we be reminded to look at our spouses with new eyes (behind the contacts or bifocals you may be wearing). Eyes that focus and see their inner beauty and worth. Eyes that remember the highs and lows you have come through as a couple. Eyes that say, “I’m still into you.” 🙂
The song for this post is Paramore’s “Still Into You“. Take a good listen to the lyrics (when you’re not dancin’!) cause they speak of lasting love.
How do you see your spouse/significant other?