Every morning when Theo wakes up, Gabriel gets him from his nursery and lays him beside me in bed. Theo nurses and sweetly cuddles me for thirty to forty minutes. He lets me know he’s really ready to get up for the day by slapping me in the face or (unfortunately) pinching my nipples. Oh, the highs and lows of motherhood.
One morning, Gabriel laid him beside me and I noticed his pants were wet. Gabriel smelled his hands.
“Oh no. It’s poop.”
I quickly rolled off the bed and swooped the sleepy, poopy baby off of our white sheets, knowing it was probably too late to save them. Gabriel and I stumbled down the hallway into the dark nursery. The light had burned out and we hadn’t gotten around to changing it. In the dark, we discovered–by our the only means possible–our hands, that it was much worse than we thought. Much. Worse.
Poop was everywhere–up Theo’s back, down his legs, on his stomach. In our tired fumbles, poop ended up in his hair, all over our hands and on the nursery wall. Theo kept pawing at my shirt whining to nurse so I eventually just leaned over and popped my boob into his mouth while we continued to try to contain the disaster zone. In my year and a half of breastfeeding, I’ve learned some crafty, ninja breast feeding moves.
When the poop dust had finally settled and Theo had a clean diaper, Gabriel and I locked eyes over the changing table.
“Happy anniversary,” he said. We both rippled with laughter. I swept my sleepy baby up into my arms, leaned over the poop mess on the changing table and kissed my husband.
“Happy anniversary, honey.”
This is what I have learned marriage is: Taking care of those you love. Helping each other through the mess. Never leaving each other alone in the dark. And laughing even when life is hard. It’s not glamorous and storybookesque. It’s not even Instragram worthy. But it’s beautiful and real and everyday.
Gabriel is still the man I want to go on fancy dates with, dance to cheesy country music with and make out with. He is still the man I want to hold hands with, wander Target with and marathon watch Parks and Rec with. He is still the man who drinks wine in the bathtub with me, holds me when I cry and listens to my dreams. He is definitely the man I want to change an insanely poopy diaper with.
Here’s to many more years of the everyday shit.I love you Gabriel. You’re my star drenched boy. My forever man.