Eight years to the day after marrying the most difficult, juvenile, fucked-up person on the planet, Ben still says he'd do it again in a heartbeat. He came home this morning with open arms for us, a huge bouquet of those amazing multi-colored roses and three weeks of intensive self-work under his belt because as he says, he is serious about keeping his sobriety instead of always being on the edge.
The minute I went into his arms I lost it. Fell apart in great wracking silent sobs and he finally let go of everything and everyone else and sat down on the floor and just kept holding on. Apparently I put on quite a tough face for everyone else but Ben is one of those people who, when they ask you how you're doing, instead of answer you just cry. There's something about his eyes. His voice. His arms.
Don't go away again. I hate it. I hate it. I blubbered at him but he just held on, squeezing gently, not saying a word.
He was nervous. I didn't realize how much. Coming home seeing all the renewed loyalties and blown-wide-open allegiances and he wondered if he had a place now that Lochlan seemingly holds all the cards again at last.
He said I put those fears to bed pretty quickly for him. I asked him why he didn't call and he shrugged. He's loathe to subject me to his darker side. He wants to be strong for me. He wants to be whole for me. I reminded him I don't care which parts of him are here, they're all good parts.
Some more than others. He winks.
Well there's that, I laugh and get another hug that ends in a kiss that makes my knees jello and my heart knock so loudly against my chest wanting to get out and fuse itself to him that we both step back, startled by the sound.
Eventually we had enough of each other and went and got Lochlan, who was given the afternoon off (yup, still working for Batman) so we could enjoy a micro-reunion together before the children get home from school and monopolize Ben with all the things he missed in the past three weeks. His Easter chocolate waits in the cupboard. His brother waits for his own reunion next door but here it was the three of us locked in yet another hug that was again, too long in the making. We needed this tiny moment. This breathless grip on the stairwell in the sun. This quiet reassurance that we're still the three musketeers and we love each other fiercely and with abandon. None of that changes, no matter what happens.
Lastly, April 19 seems to be a fresh-start kind of day for me. If you go to the sidebar here to your left and scroll alllll the way down to 2006, a mere decade ago, it marks the day I first began to write about Jacob. It was our first full day today together. Ten years ago today. Of all days.
Seems like a lifetime ago, because it was.