By Emily Harrington
Last year my husband and I attended 11 weddings. Eleven.
After three consecutive weekend weddings, the festivities start to blur together; the centerpieces, food, music and
small talk are remembered less than the wine headaches and exorbitant dry cleaning bills.
I began to sit in the pews and concentrate more on the guests’ wedding attire than the actual nuptials. But, last summer, my ears perked up at my sister-in-law’s wedding. Monsignor said something in the homily that has stayed with me. “The most important thing parents can do for their children is to love each other.” That resonated with me.
I’ve seen women who get married because they want to have children, not because they want to share their lives with a partner. I got married because I wanted to spend my life with my husband, knowing children would come second. Often I see new mothers or, for that matter, experienced mothers put their children before their husband. I don’t want to lose sight of the union that started it all, the one that matters the most, the one between my husband and me.
That’s why when I hear the term “date night” I cringe a little inside. You mean to tell me I will have to schedule time to be with my husband one-on-one for a night? You know the type of night where you really look at each other and truly hear what each other is saying, not just two passersby in the hallway. I don’t want to stop hearing him, stop seeing him.
Every night is date night now; I should appreciate the freedom and ease of it. Coming home, working out and sharing a meal. It seems so simple. I take it for granted now — the intimate, casual moments where everything feels like it’s in sync.
I don’t want to become the couple that is so fixated on their children’s needs, they lose sight of each other. But, that’s in our control, isn’t it? I have the power to keep my husband as my priority, keep our love flourishing and strong, and so does he.
This year we only have three weddings to attend. As fast and furious as the onslaught of wedding bells was last year, this year is turning to baby bumps and births.
I myself have had my first negative test. (OK, truth be told, I’ve taken five. I told you I’m a control freak!) Anyway, I couldn’t help feel a little disappointed when one line emerged instead of two. Mrs. Wishy-Washy was a little disappointed. Even with my lackadaisical attitude about pregnancy and child rearing, I still felt a twinge of sadness. Maybe it wasn’t a twinge of sadness, after all? Maybe it’s the beginning tick-tock of the biological clock?
Emily Harrington is a 28-year-old townie on the cusp of full blown adulthood. She’s a wife still in the honeymoon stage and a mom of a borderline psychotic mini-Australian Shepherd. She has a full-time job in communications/marketing and a full-time life outside of work.