Growing up, my parents flirted in front of my brother and me all the time. And even though I'm sure I rolled my eyes and said it was gross sometimes, I liked knowing that my parents loved each other. Knowing that the two people in charge of taking care of me had a good relationship made me feel safe. And for whatever it's worth, it was also a good example to me of prioritizing my marriage. It must have worked for them, because decades after they said "I do," they still flirt like a couple of teenagers. And now, instead of rolling my eyes, I hope Dave and I act just like that in 20 years.
We are constantly telling our kids how important they are to us. We tell them with words, we show them with our actions, we do everything we can to make sure they know. But one day, Andy came downstairs and said, "Do you know what Dad told me?"
"What," I asked?
"He said he loves you more than me. But me and Isaac are next on his list, after God, then you, so we're still really high."
I thought about it for a moment, and tried to gauge his reaction. Isaac came down soon and joined in the discussion.
"Yep," Isaac confirmed, "Dad said you're #2 Mom. But since it's God that's in the #1 spot, I thought you wouldn't mind. And, Dad said everything else in the whole world comes after us. So it's ok that he loves you more."
"Plus, you guys kiss sometimes, and that's gross," Andy added. Not sure how that made a difference, but it did to him somehow. Apparently we flirt sometimes like my parents used to do. Makes me proud.
We don't have the world's most perfect marriage, but we really do love each other, and want our kids to know that we're committed to staying connected. So we took it a step further.
We kind of insinuated that special powers come with our wedding rings. Sometimes we'll let our rings touch, and then pretend we know what the other person is thinking. Often, when I already know that we're heading to the store to pick something up, we'll touch rings, then I'll close my eyes and think for a moment, and look at Dave, and say, "Hey! We're going to Menards to check out their free-after-rebate sales!"
"Why yes, yes we are!" Dave will say. And we attribute it to the power of the Fellowship of Our Rings. On some level, I think they know we're kind of kidding, but I don't think they always know what to think when we touch our rings together, then can complete each other's sentences.
We hadn't mentioned it in awhile, but it became clear they hadn't forgotten it when we were out to eat the other day. We were standing in line ordering, and Isaac wouldn't stop moving my hand around. Not knowing what he was doing, I looked down, and found that he had Dave's ring finger in his other hand, and he was trying to get our rings to touch.
We want them to feel safe and secure, knowing that their parents are committed for the long haul. We may not have everything figured out, our marriage isn't perfect, but I think our kids are getting the idea that we love each other an awful lot.
And in 20 years, I hope that Dave and I still enjoy the Fellowship of Our Rings even more than we do now. I plan on flirting with him until we're old and grey. I'm a blessed woman, to be able to parent two kids that I love with my best friend.