First comes love. Then comes marriage...
Let's be honest, no one ever sang that song as a compliment. It was jealousy. I admit it. I was the one who wanted to be up in that tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g the class hottie and not my dumbass friend, so I was going to sing him into embarrassment. Which never worked. But we were in third grade or high school, I don't remember. Point is, eventually we all get up on that limb and get busy. There's love. There's marriage. And then a baby. Not always in that order, but it happens.
My wife and I have had a pretty good run over the years. We started dating in high school, hit some rough road, worked it out, grew up and got careers, had kids, watched them grow up and hit some rough road, work it out and then move out. Now we have dogs.
So you figure after 30 years of relationship work, we would be over the hump and hiking downhill, holding hands to fetch a pail of water.
A teacher, Zen or otherwise, once mentioned that relationships are one of the best vehicles for spiritual growth. That's where our buttons are revealed. Anyone who can push our buttons is showing us where our work is. They are our Buddha. What better Buddha than your spouse?
A parent, sure.
After more than half our lives together and raising two kids and paying off a house, we still find that our relationship takes work. Expectations clash, desires go in opposite directions, body parts don't work the same. But we're lucky. We're both willing to put in the hours to make a go of it. Seriously, we're totally lucky.
Most people get married when they're still kids--early twenties, late teens. And twenty years later, we're not the same people. So I got lucky. We're still interested in making a go at it with each other after all these years. So here's to luck. And to the work.
And to K-I-S-S-I-N-G.