This weekend: On Saturday, I stared out of the window and watched the kids playing in the grass. I looked around the room and remembered that I did not start out at his house. It doesn't haunt me often that his exwife lived there, but it certainly crosses my mind every once in a while. Saturday was the once in a while. Yes, we are building out his lower level and repainting the whole house - those things will, in time, make that house mine, too. But those things take time.
There are days that I feel like I'm a visitor. Some of our things are already living there: the cat, boxes for the kitchen, the big bed, and linens. The extra furniture that didn't fit in the apartment is still in his garage. In fact, I have a "side" in his garage. But still, I visit.
Anyway, he was putting away laundry and popped his head in the room. He asked me what I was doing, just staring. (He always, always can tell when I am deep in thought and he is always, always incredibly considerate to ask and want in, too.)
"I'm wondering when I won't feel like a visitor here anymore. Wondering when I'll feel like this house is mine, too. How long it will take..." We exchanged small smiles. I wasn't upset or accusing, just thinking out loud. But I'm sure he didn't know exactly what to say.
A few minutes later there was quite a racket going on in the kitchen. It wasn't the kids because I could still see all of them rolling around in the grass. I wandered out and found Bryon on a stool in the kitchen, emptying every single cabinet onto the countertop. He was grinning down at me.
"Here." He handed me a box of macaroni. "It's time to make it ours. Come on, help me. Let's get it all out and then you can put it away exactly the way you want it. We'll do it together. Right now. I don't want anything to be the way it was. Help me make it ours. We'll start right here in the kitchen."
I stood there for a moment, unsure of what to say. Despite being incredibly independent, he has always given so graciously and included me in every decision since we were us. Here he was having stopped what he was doing altogether, tearing up the kitchen that he used alone in order to design a kitchen that we will use together. On the spot priority switch for me. For me.
I unpacked the boxes that came from my house and put those away, too. I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt to make that kitchen mine, too. We spent hours. And now when we cook together in our kitchen, we both reach for the wrong cabinet when looking for something. It's cute.
This weekend: I heard Bryon's daughter say "our family", referring to the two of them plus the four of us. Six peeps. Love it.
This weekend: The boys (and by that I mean all three of them) wrestled.
[Mabel ran to Bryon's rescue with the pink "scissors" from her vet kit. Which she promptly latched onto Trevor's ear.]
And Dear B: Just so you know, in my heart and to my God, I have already promised to love and keep you, to cherish you above all others, to honor and (yes) obey you, to be faithful to you always, to keep God between us, and to celebrate your strengths and encourage your weaknesses. I will forever and always love you, Bryon Ray. I am yours alone.