Remember what it felt like to be in love for the first time?  Remember how your heart just wouldn't slow down?  You'd hear that voice and just melt inside?  Remember the butterflies in the pit of your stomach when you first held hands?  Think about your first kiss; did it surprise you?  You know you never wanted it to end.  How sweet was the sound of the first "I love you."  

There are other passionately romantic moments in every relationship.  I have a brain full of memories, enough to fill novels (if I wanted to share them): walks in the moonlight, feeling a protective arm at the height of the movie's horror, the first sight of my man in a tux...  It's the way he says my name, the way his eyes light up when he sees me, the ease with which I can make him smile or laugh.  The first time I fell asleep in my lover's arms, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

So... lately I've been feeling... anything but romantic.  The daily grind of life, of caring for three small children: changing diapers, cooking dinner, folding mountains of laundry, playing cab driver...  All of these things are enough to make the most beautiful and the most sexy woman feel completely and utterly... NOT beautiful, NOT sexy, and NOT romantic.

And I got lost there this week.  I confess, I lost sight of the beauty and wonder of my children.  I nearly missed my daughter pulling herself to a standing position for the first time.  I forgot, somehow, that the words, "I love you," can be just as sweet (although in a very different way) coming from your children as from your lover.

I also took my husband for granted.  Sometimes between his two jobs and my own "issues" it's hard to feel like we're really connecting.  Sometimes it feels like ships in the night.  Some days I get so jealous of his ability to just walk out of the house in the morning and go to work, especially when I turn around to a pile of dishes in the sink and a fussy baby (and somewhere at the bottom of that pile in the sink, I'm sure are ALL the bottles!).  The to do list is always forever long and I'm the world's worst housekeeper.  Somehow, I forgot that love that withstands the tests and trials of family life can be the most passionate kind.  I forgot, somehow, that time and practice make relationships stronger.

Yesterday, my hubby and his mom gave me the most beautiful gift, a night out... without the kids.  We went out for a delicious Thai dinner and then did some shopping at a craft place (just because he knew I'd like it and they were running a sale).  My mother-in-law came over to take care of the kids and even arrived early, so I could take the necessary time to change out of the spit-up stained mom jeans and into the date-night attire!  Hubby greeted me with flowers.

Now just to be clear, this doesn't happen often, and frankly, I asked for this date because I knew I needed a break.  But the point is... Hubby knew I needed it, and he was more than willing to oblige.  I'd been feeling resentful about my life (for no REAL reason as I frankly have a fantastic life most of the time) and my lack of adult interaction.  I love my family.  I love being at home with my kids.  Being a full-time stay-at-home mom isn't always easy, but I really wouldn't trade it.  At least, most of the time, I wouldn't! There is a comfort and a security that family life brings.

I just need to remember that there needs to be those evenings with my lover to keep the romantic spark alive.  I need to do things JUST for ME sometimes -- going out with my best friend or spending an afternoon watching a movie -- JUST because  I WANT to.  Because these are the things that keep my passion alive -- so I can stay passionate about the mundane "little things" in my life.

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