Speaking of concerts, I just happened to attend one today. A house party concert. It was the first one I've ever been to and I hope to God it wasn't the last. A few weeks ago I received an email from my friend Jess, alerting me to something called The Firefly Concert Series. They had ten tickets left to a show featuring Edie Carey, a singer-songwriter who happens to know Jess as well.
Something made me bite. Even though Bubba is (still) out of town and I'm the 'numero uno' parent right now (although not the preferred one if you ask my girls), I took the initiative to find a date and a babysitter and thought, "why not?" Even if her music wasn't my cup of tea, at least it was a way to get some time for myself with a friend, right?
Let me just say that it surpassed all my expectations. We were asked to bring a brunch item to share (a potluck concert? I thought) and some cash to buy CDs or drinks (mimosas and bloody mary's sounded good). Pulling up to a distinctly residential neighborhood I worried that this might be a little hinky. Walking through the front door and spying the view of the water and distant islands and the table piled high with homemade goodies, my worries evaporated.
Edie Carey is a terrific singer-songwriter. Should she not be able to make a living at either of those things, I suspect she would have a good shot at earning money as a stand-up comedian. There were perhaps 40 people in the room, most of whom had not heard her music before. She joked with us, told us stories of each of the songs before she sung them, and signed CDs for us at the break. She chowed on our homemade brunch items and gave most of us sincere thanks for supporting her today. One of her songs in particular gave me pause. She told us a story about an email she received from a man who wanted to hire her to perform at his wife's 30th birthday party. He then wondered whether she would write a song for his wife. He enclosed seven years' worth of love letters that they had written for each other in case she needed some inspiration. The result is a gorgeous song called "What Love Looks Like" that moved many of us to tears.
And so I began to wonder. After seventeen years of friendship (fourteen of them spent married), two children, multiple pets, two houses, three apartments, several jobs and a lot of time spent apart due to business travel, what does our love look like? I still consider Bubba to be my best friend. I am in love with him and relish any opportunity to go on a date with him. We make a very good team when we're running the household and parenting our children. We are capable of communicating at times without uttering any words. What does our love look like?
It is being excited for each other when one of us wants to embark on a new adventure. It is not worrying whether it will take too much time away from the family, but trusting that it will strengthen us as individuals and that, in turn, will make us all happier and better.
It is being able to recognize when the other one is feeling overwhelmed and step in to support them without making them justify it.
It is remembering the reason we fell in love in the first place.
It is not getting so wrapped up in what is going on today that we forget how much we loved each other yesterday.
It is feeling brave enough to speak our own truths, regardless of whether they match up or not.
It is knowing that when I feel like I'm going to fall down, all I have to do is yell, "Catch!" and Bubba will be right there, hands outstretched, no questions asked.
It is hating the fact that his frozen toes will press up against my warm shins just as I'm falling asleep at night. But hating the nights they aren't there more.