Most of 2013 has been about rebirth for me and my wife. We revisited old places in our life and set out to establish a place that is wholly ours. After thousands of miles of travel, difficult events, deep discussions of love we have found where we want to restart. That place is Columbus, Ohio. It is a place that is giving us an opportunity to slough parts of our life that weren’t intentional. Columbus has given us a chance to test our truths and try things again.
This year M Rose and I changed places. Instead of throwing a party for my birthday and having a quiet night for her’s we did the opposite. For my birthday dinner we went to one of the first places that we ever went when we first came to Columbus. Just the three of us and some very nice craft beer.
M Rose’s birthday started as soon as she got off work on Friday and kept going until Sunday at about 10pm. We had lots of food and drink and adult merriment. We had people we knew and new people over to the house. M Rose went on a big adventure, mostly with strangers, for much of Sunday. This is the kind of social extroversion that she rarely launches into of her own free will, but it was very exciting to see. For three-entire-days she had this excited aura for each new, slightly out-of-character event.
On Sunday we were eating some very good barbecue with our friend Laurie and I heard M Rose from the other room:
“I really like it when Carlos does [redacted] with me. He only ever does [redacted] when I am happy. He never really wants to otherwise.”
I really couldn’t help but smile when she said that. It was a funny moment that I never expected. As I thought about it I agree with her observation, but I had never thought about how differently I behave when my wife is happy. There are whole genres of behavior that don’t occur to me when she is grumpy.
It ends up being a little feedback loop. I spent a couple days encouraging her to do a bunch of things for no greater reason than self-care/celebration and the payout was not at all what I expected. Of all the thank you expressions that came from M Rose, that was the one that was the most touching. She was excited less about feeling happy than she was about the little things that state draws out of the world.
I like making/seeing M Rose happy, she usually does a lot of nice things for me when she is happy (like when we first started dating). But, it turns out that I do some things that make M Rose happy, because she is already happy. Even though, may be because, there have been very difficult moments and decisions this year we have rediscovered some of the little joys that we had when our love was young.