Let me take you back about five or six years to a time of freedom and carefree-ness, a.k.a before kids. My husband and I had this little yellow couch in our living room. It was a very small, old, slightly smelly hand me down that I both appreciated and loathed. My biggest complaint at that time was it was too small. I always felt like my husband and I were right on top of each other. Throw in our dog, an entitled Weimaraner who believes she is way above sleeping on the floor or even an expensive dog bed, and we were literally on top of each other.
Pre-kids, exhaustion didn’t take over at 7pm, so we had time to enjoy watching movies. Even though the couch was small, we somehow managed to lie down together. Hubby would lie down first, as far against the back of the couch as he could and then I would push my back against him as close as I could so that we both lay “comfortably” snuggled and ready to watch the movie. Most of the time, he would have his arm wrapped around me as both a gesture of love and simply to save me from falling off the couch. I loved it but still continued to joke and complain about our pitiful little couch.
When I got pregnant with our first child, the couch stayed it’s same small, smelly self but I got bigger and bigger. There came a point where us lying together became a laughing matter. It simply could no longer happen. I clearly remember our last attempt. I tried to lie in front of him and my big belly (about 7 or 8 mths worth of baby in there) would literally hang off the couch. I crack up just thinking about it. It was not happening. So life goes on and we just watched our movies sitting up. Or hubby would lie his head on what was left of my lap and our very active little girl in utero would practice her soccer moves with his head. But still we “had” to be so close to each other.
The little yellow couch is now long gone and was replace with a bigger, slightly nicer hand me down couch that offers more room to put between us. That yellow couch has been on my mind recently because I’ve noticed how little my husband and I actually touch each other lately. I don’t mean in a sexual way but just literally, simply touch each other. Two kids later, I could die my hair red, he could grow a beard and I’m not sure either of us would notice until days later. We’re busy. We’re distracted. We’re tired. We’re comfortable. We’re creatures of habit that now sit in “our” spots to watch tv or play mindless Facebook games after the kids go to bed. It’s a habit that I’m realizing will take effort to break.
I have a very close friend and family member who recently has had the opportunity to buy a bigger house. We were discussing how very awesome it is and how grateful she is to be able to own such a nice home. One thing she said has stuck with me. She talked about how strange it is to not have the chaos that is her three boys around her all the time now. They now have their own area up stairs. She said this was bittersweet.
I can equate that to my little, old, smelly, yellow couch. It’s nice to have added space but that previous lack of space is now seen differently. It’s missed. It’s appreciated.