When you first get married, you don’t really know what you’re doing. You argue about stupid crap all the time. You don’t really get each other in many different ways. You want to win. You realize the person you married is flawed.
But as you stick it out and get used to living together, you begin to see how compromise works. You begin to see what sharing and waiting your turn really looks like. You begin to grin at the flaws rather than wanting to throw something. You begin to settle into that person and your life together. It can be good and bad. Some settling in means the newness is gone. It means that even though he may have hung the moon, he hung it ten different times and it still ended up crooked. But there’s a familiarity that brings such peace. The sounds, the scent. Just the feeling of being home wherever he is.
And when you buy your first house or maybe rent your first apartment, you want it all just right. You want the towels to match your kitchen. And you want your canisters to match your towels. And you buy cute salt and pepper shakers because you want your life to be cute and you might as well start it out with cute salt and pepper shakers. You make your bed for a little while. You stand in the widest part of your probably small house and think that you’re all grown up because you have place mats on the table even though nobody eats there.
But then you settle in and you use tattered Christmas towels in the kitchen year ’round. Your coffee cups all have broken handles and you don’t care because coffee is coffee regardless of what the handle looks like. You only make your bed when you hope to take a nap that day because you’ve learned that’s how it works. And you stand in the largest part of your house and think that you’ve done pretty well for yourself, but you really should dust. And you really should get a new sofa, when the kids are older and won’t tear it up.
And when you’re a new parent, you make the nursery perfect. You always put ointment on his bottom when you change his diaper weather he needs it or not. Because you can’t be too careful. Your heart races and you feel your face and neck grow warm when you see someone give him sweets that you think he’s too young to have. You have to either freak out or leave the room if someone gives him a sip of soda. You catch him every time he falls. Or you at least try. And you feel like a failure if you miss or if you’re too late.
But then you settle into being a parent and you realize that he’s not as breakable as you thought. And when you add siblings to the equation, you see that you only change diapers when the other is seriously about to leak. And you don’t use baby wipes most of the time, let alone ointment. And you laugh when they fall in hopes that they will join you. And they eat dirt so who really cares what else they put in their mouths.
At least that’s what settling in has looked like for me. There’s a certain amount of acceptance and familiarity that comes. But I don’t think there’s really an end to the settling. Not until our lives are over. I continue to grasp onto things I shouldn’t. I continue to learn to let things go. I continue to think I have it figured out only to realize I have no clue. But we are settling in.
Our lives have changed so much since that first little loft apartment on Tanglewilde. I know someday I’ll look back at this time in our lives, this crazy time, and realize how much I’ve learned and changed and grown. I hope I’ll become more selfless. I hope I’ll continue to settle into this life that I have and that I’ll feel more at home in it as the years go by.