Sean sent me an email the other day that said:

I miss my wife.

Pretty to the point. Refreshing to have someone not mince words.

I miss my wife.

Well, I miss my husband damnit.

You swear you won’t do it. You won’t let romance slip away. You won’t let the spark flicker, but sometimes, despite your best efforts, you put the most important thing in your life off to the side. There are so many offshoots of our marriage- our daughter, our house, the business, our community, the list goes on. We both spend a huge amount of time and energy in making sure that we tend to all the new life that has sprung from our union.

How does that saying about the forest and the trees go?
We are caretaking the forest, not the trees. Or the trees and not the forest. Whatever.

I was checking my email yesterday and I had something from Travelocity:

Dear Amanda,
Travelocity FareWatcherSM, your personal airfare tracking service,
has found fare changes in 1 of your markets.

Update Cities
Seattle/Tacoma, WA (SEA)
New Price: $183.00+Old Price: $253.00
You save: $70.00
Rochester, NY (ROC)
Fare was retrieved Tuesday, August 30, 2005, at 2:00 am.

This email awoke a torrent of emotions and memories that hit me like a brick wall.

Suddenly it was as if I was back in the Capitol Theatre basement obsessively checking my email for new messages from [email protected].
I felt the exquisitely delicious pain of pining for your crush and seeing reminders of that person in everything, from squares of pavement to passing cars to the return address on an artificial Christmas tree box.
My stomach came to life with little butterfly flutters as I remembered the sensation of dialing Sean’s number and waiting to find out if he would answer, or if I would be talking to a machine.

My office, which is now plastered with pictures of Briar-Briar alone, Briar with Sean, Briar with me, more of Briar alone- is a different place than my office in Yakima. Back then I had pictures of Sean, little mementoes of our time together, and the things he would send- creative little cards, like the one he put together using the image of a nasty old cigarette with a huge amount of ash sitting in a crusty old ashtray to congratulate me on my bid to quit smoking (5 years!). I used to just gaze at the picture of Sean and I in Seattle at sunset. It was such a perfectly captured moment in time, it fed my need to be with him.

Looking at the message from Travelocity and remembering what it was like to be so far away was incredible.
It woke me up.
Sean and I will never be where we were 5 years ago, but we will always have those two people inside of us.
Each summer that we spend together, getting to know one another, growing together, we will build upon those first years of butterflies, shaky throats, and all consuming infatuation.

The passion doesn’t go away, it grows up.
Instead of an electrifying look across a dance floor,
it may be a proud, look across a conference room.

Instead of trembling hugs at the airport,
it could be affectionate nuzzling at the corner coffee shop.

A night shooting pool at a bar,
may turn into a spin on the dance floor at a benefit.

Being the “it” couple of the summer,
matures into being a power couple in the community.

I know that neither of us is going to let go of our passion for life, our pursuit of achievements, personal and professional. Sean and I are going to continue to find new ways to learn about each other and to love one another. We have never had it easy, not from the days of Yakima and Rochester, to the days of lath and plaster, to the days of new business and new baby.

We don’t really do easy.

Sean could have picked girls that were a lot easier than me (oh I love that on so many levels) but he didn’t. I could have put my foot down about the timeline of house, business and baby, but I didn’t. We are at our best when we are challenged. We like hard work. We like fighting for what we want. (Ok, sometimes it might be nice to just have it handed to us.)

And, when all is said and done, we fit.
And he’s cute.
So, even though it is not the same as it was in the early days, I still have a crush on Sean.
I still watch him and feel my breath catch sometimes. I still feel a hunger. But there is more.
We created a person that exists only because we came together. From our love.
We have stayed true to our commitment to demonstrating for Briar
what it is to have parents who are in love with one another.

Instead of just kisses that we share, now we sit with Briar and say,

“Kisses. Kisses for Dad and kisses for Mom.”

And then we kiss, and she looks from Sean to me and then back again, and then she cracks up.
A huge, nose crinkling, shoulder shrugging, foot kicking giggle!

“Kisses for Briar. Kisses for our family!” And she leans in and presses her mouth to Sean’s. I watch as their twin-like smiles light up the room.

It’s a much more satisfying kind of passion.