Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
Louis De Bernieres via NieNieDialogues
Having kids together definitely brings a couple closer in ways one doesn't think about until there are kids. Before, we were 2 individuals who came together because, well, we dug each other a lot. That hasn't changed, but now we have many more layers in who we are and what we do together.
I remember before Tesla was born, my main concern was maintaining my closeness to Dav, and I vowed to make that a priority. I still do, but we are in that intense mode right now where keeping healthy food in the fridge, kids clean, and a modicum of sleep is also priority, so by the time I have a moment for Dav, it is in short snippets only. In those snippets, we relish a long hug, or a kiss (Tesla now thinks it is funny that we kiss, i.e. we are just her parents, not 2 people in love). And we know at the end of the tunnel, we will enjoy our date nights again (ie. I won't beg to go home early because I feel the need to be with the baby), and hopefully get some of our old groove back.
But it's a journey. And through all this, I feel Dav and I are intertwining on a deeper level; our roots are growing together. Although we have less romantic time right now, I am appreciating the true team I feel we are being - building a family, building our careers, figuring out our long-term goals and dreams, learning what lessons we need to teach our children, and simply growing older together.
A long time ago, when I first met Dav on the playa but then flew back to my home in Tokyo, I wrote to a mutual friend that I had this feeling about Dav. Even though we had just met, I totally imagined us old together. Perhaps we'd be in some retirement home, he in a wheelchair that I'd push around. He'd wear a hat I had knitted, bright in color with cute animal ears on it. Or something like that.
Not that we are that old, but this period in our lives is highlighting what I noticed less before: the mundane everyday that we are creating together into a combined story. Dav is my romantic partner but also my life partner in all senses of the word.