“I kissed you when I walked in the door,” he’d say.
“What? No, you didn’t.”
“Yup, I did. You don’t even notice half the time” I’d hear.
I had to start paying better attention after my husband and I had this conversation one too many times. We got sucked into the chaos of kids and chores. The baby getting snuggled up after I got my welcome home kiss replaced the lovey-dovey romance. I loved watching my boys love up daddy when he came home from work. The excitement my husband had to be home with us
But I also missed how I used to sit on his lap and we’d joke around, talk nonsense for a few minutes after supper. After we became parents, evenings meant sneaking in time to play with our boys before we started their early bedtime routine. Then came our least favorite part of the day — the boring tasks around the house before we sat down to hang out. Picking up toys, washing dishes, and the list goes on. Our kitchen kisses became as routine as a household chore.
How do we learn to prioritize and take care of our relationships when we feel the daily grind set in?
Take the trip.
Don’t have enough saved for a trip to the beach? Book a night at a local hotel and be a tourist in your city. Start saving what you can afford every month for a date or vacation fund. Maybe your savings will grant you a date night, camping, or booking that all-inclusive resort. Where doesn’t matter, it is making time and memories together that does.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Leave the dishes, the dusting, and the laundry. Enjoy time with your partner when you can so you will be recharged for your children. You will never regret leaving the basket of laundry. There will always be a task left undone.
Pause to enjoy the kiss. Cuddle on the couch when you are binge watching that television series. Hold hands when you go on a date.
My husband and I were forced to pause and live one day at a time when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. The good parts of life were had in the days, sometimes just hours a day when he felt well in between his chemo treatments every two weeks. We didn’t talk about life farther than his next appointment or treatment, which came fast and frequent.
A month after we celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary, my 34-year-old husband died of colon cancer. I became a widowed, stay at home mom at the age of 33. Two years have gone by since he passed.
My hope now is to live in the moment. To forgive myself when I get caught up in life and slow myself down again. Appreciating I am able to plan for a future, but respecting and understanding nothing is guaranteed.
Maybe you will read this and it will inspire you for an evening to let the worries go and soak up your family. Maybe it will ignite you and a week will go by before you fall back into the trap of the daily grind.
But when you are feeling like something is missing, come back here and remember to savor the repeating moment in your life that warms your heart. The kitchen kisses of your life. Savor these moments and redefine them as your life unfolds. Hold them close to your heart and the memory will always be with you.