Yesterday, we played in the snow with the kids, stayed home and just spent time as family. Days like these are a rarity in our house so I was excited to spend another wonderful day just like the day before.
Little did I know it would be quite the opposite, we woke up to Tristen crying with a fever of 103.6° F. I panicked, I gave him some Tylenol to reduce his fever, I took his clothes off to help the heat escape his tiny, burning body and I called the doctor, who told me that if it went up anywhere between 104 to 105° F, I would need to take him in immediately.
There were just a few measly degrees that kept him home safe and all of us out in the icy, snowy streets rampaging our way to a hospital. Our son could have easily been in a very dangerous spot. My mind filled with the possibilities of seizures, irreversible brain damage, overnight hospital stays, tubes and cords probed into my child like a machine and I even thought of the worst possible situation, death. My heart ached and my tears edged the border of falling but I demanded they stay put. Nothing was really wrong (at least not yet), I needed to keep it together and take care of my son.
Thankfully, Jarod was home and was able to tend to Aiden and Ali so I spent the day laying with Tristen, monitoring his temperature, dutifully giving him a rotation of Motrin and Tylenol in 3 hour intervals, refilling his sippy-cup with Gatorade and wiping his burning body with a wet washcloth to calm the flames. He spent most of the day sleeping, waking up every 20 minutes, whining, attempting to kick the aches out of his body and then crying if he woke up without me in his very near direct contact. Thankfully, late in the evening, his temperature cooled and he started acting like his sweet, playful self again.
But it was a stressful situation. Tristen was sick, Aiden wanted so desperately for me to play and give him my undivided attention and my husband was in the same house as me but yet, in another room, physically and metaphorically speaking. It seems our lives these days consist of us either being physically separated due to his chaotic work schedule or we're in the exact same room unable to truly connect because we have the responsibility of tending to the needs of our kids.
In the midst of this glorious day, Jarod and I started fighting about the number one thing couples fight about most: money. Surprise. Surprise. We talked. We argued. We yelled. We completely ignored each other in passing and repeated various patterns of the aforementioned over and over again.
For whatever reason, it took us a long time to see eye-to-eye, we argued our points to the death and protectively shielded our wounded egos and prospective views about money and how it was being handled. Although, money was the main argument, it can very easily equate with the proponents of responsibility, maturity, selfishness and the overwhelming responsibility of the future of our family. The complexity of an argument about "money" is never just about money. A few hours later, we were finally able to come to an agreement, a compromise of sorts. I agreed to stop being a neurotic, pain-in-the-ass, control-freak about money and he agreed to be more conscious of how money was being spent.
After seven years of marriage, I’ve realized that this is what marriage is really about; it’s about having a million different factors that can stress you both the hell out, be it in-laws, work or lack thereof, unpaid bills, a unclean, messy house, sick kids, deaths in the family, insecurities, etc., etc., etc., inadvertently taking it out on each other as you attempt to deal with the stress of life and then if you're really lucky, lucky enough to have someone that cares enough, someone that's emotionally mature enough and is willing to work extremely hard with you, then you try to mend your imperfect, brokenness together.
Facing all of these tough situations, fighting out differences and coming to a compromising and more importantly, staying together, is what marriage is truly about. I grew up believing that marriage was going to be my happily-ever-after and finding someone that I loved who loved me equally as much was going to be the difficult part. It was actually quite the opposite; finding someone to love was the easy part and staying married, staying happily married, is the hardest thing I have ever done.
|A little over a year together.|
I think from the outside world it looks like Jarod and I have an easy marriage because we not only love one another but we also really, really like each other. I've been told we look "so happy together" and that you can tell we "really love each other." We are and we do but nobody sees us behind closed doors. Nobody saw how hard we work at this. Nobody sees the fights, the tears and the pain we've endured from one another and from, simply, being together.
The truth about marriage is that it is hard as hell and even doubly harder to stay happy.
I remember, when I was younger, I was told that being married is very difficult, yet I never quite believed anyone because they didn’t seem truly happy in their own relationships and marriage was never difficult in movies. Movies are always a true depiction of real life, right?? I reasoned that it was only difficult because the people in that marriage just didn’t really love the other person. To say, I was naive is an understatement. Marriage is only difficult when you really love someone because otherwise, you wouldn't be married anymore but rather, you'd just be another one of those couples that just didn’t quite make it.
Marriage is extremely difficult but Jarod and I remain commited to staying and fighting for our marriage until the end of forever.
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