I really, really enjoyed this today.
I remember being nineteen and sat on the sofa at Timothy’s house, watching him pull his little sister onto his lap and tell her that she was a very pretty little girl. Well, swoon, obviously. I loved him for that, and his big shoulders and hands and dark blue eyes, and the way he thought carefully about everything he said before he said it, and his awful jokes, and his Sunday jumpers, and his generous unpretended niceness – oh yes, his niceness span out from him in every direction whenever he did anything at all.
It’s good for me to retell those stories to him and hear his again, to remember how it felt, and how we knew. Good for both of us. We spent an evening looking through our anniversary photographs last week and it had the same effect. I’m coming to the conclusion that marriage is an exercise in forgetting and remembering simultaneously. Some failings and arguments forgiven and pushed out of the head as soon as they’re over, so they don’t keep tripping us up. Some moments, especially those early ones, gone over and over until they rise up fresh around us and our old love becomes new again.
It’s not always easy, but I remember those Sunday jumpers, and then it is.