On black love

I have never realized how much I depend on him. My partner is away.  It is day 5. Twenty-eight days to go.

My sister has come by to help with dinner and bedtime. She feeds the toddler, helps him wash up, pjs, reads some books, goodnight, no you can’t sleep in mommy’s bed, goodnight. I nurse the infant to sleep, burped, bathed, changed, burped again.  I will come back later to check if toddler has fallen asleep/ sticks around to chat. I am exhausted.

Finally, I sit on the balcony. There is still much to do. But I can’t. I am done. Exhausted. I watch the clouds race across the moon…the sun sets. Twenty. Eight. Days. 672 hours until he is home.

I don’t remember ever falling in love. Was there a moment when I suddenly found myself (falling) in love. Our love is something that grew, that just…came to be…in the background of a friendship. There were times when it felt like we might not make it. But at some point, I just felt it. A sense, a presence, so familiar, it must have always been there. A love. Our love.

By the time I realize I am in love, it feels so familiar. Like family. Like home. Like we have made it.

It feels like I am unable to function without him. Not only is he currently the sole income-earner (I’m a grad student on parental leave), but he does a LOT around the house – including most of the cooking, groceries, laundry. We are fortunate. We have been able to build a beautiful life together. We spend most of the day together with both of our children. We do a lot of our work from home, and he does most of his after the rest of us are asleep. He is our rock.

I love him because he is everything that a black man should be. His strength and resilience are the first things that I noticed. Well, after his tattoos of course. The first long conversation we had on the phone we talked about everything that mattered. Our past, our goals, kids, religion, family, regrets, hopes. I knew then.

I can’t imagine doing this without him. I can barely imagine getting through the next four weeks. Spending the days with our children…all day, every day…will be hard. But spending the days withOUT him? (Just breathe).