Last night while Toni was in the bathroom getting ready for bed, I turned the lights out, lit some candles, and put "our song" (The Luckiest by Ben Folds) on repeat on the stereo. When she came out of the bathroom I looked into her eyes and asked, "May I have this dance?"
Granted, I'll admit, I'm still new at this-- it's been just over a year, we're still getting used to our new roles. We did live together for about two and a half years before we married, so we've been together long enough to get used to one another's quirks and eccentricities (although, we still manage to drive each other nuts with some of those quirks) but, the people who forewarned us that marriage is a significantly different creature than cohabitation, were quite right.
And looking back, I've really got to say that all of the other relationships I was in before this one were just practice. All of those times when I thought I'd found "Miss Right" in the past, the difference was that the feelings faded-- they weren't sustained. Heck, in at least a couple of the relationships I was in, things were incredibly intense, but it seems the hotter the passion burns out the gate, it seemed the quicker that passion burned out.
When Toni & I first started talking it was mere friendship. It was a spark, not a bonfire. And the spark has steadily grown-- and we've had a few fights or arguments in the past, where admittedly, I would have walked out on anyone else. But I can't and won't walk out on her. And with every day that passes, I do find myself more in love with her than the day before.
On Saturday night we went to a small get-together/party with our usual circle of friends-- friends Toni had before I moved here and I "inherited" when she and I started dancing. One of the couples at the party brought their 2 sons-- a 5 year old and an 11 month old. Toni was holding the 11 month old for awhile, and she was positively GLOWING. We both want kids, but seeing her holding that baby just reinforced how much. At one point I was playing with the other 2 boys (our friend, John, had also come with his 3 year old, Bryan-- incidentally he's named after Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music-- John is a huge Roxy Music fan), and I realized how much I too wanted that. I've been in the picture long enough now that I've watched Bryan growing up. When he was still a toddler at another get together a few years ago, he actually reached out and wanted me to hold him (at the time I had a goatee, and facial hair was a new/different/foreign concept to him), as I was holding him he'd reach out and feel my goatee. At any rate, he's never been shy around me and he never ceases to amaze me, the kid LOVES music, he can literally recite tracklistings from his favorite CDs (keep in mind he's only 3). John was telling us that he's been using one of Beck's CDs as a potty-training tool ("You don't get to listen to Beck until you go poopies in the pot.") which had me cracking up quite a bit.
Between watching Toni with the baby, Tim, and my spending time with 3 year old Bryan, and Tim's 5 year old brother, Sam, well it was pretty evident that kids are somewhere in our future. Last night, after dancing together, Toni & I sat and talked about our future and our wants/needs/desires. We reflected on our time with the kids the previous evening and how much we wanted that as well.