But not because he surprised me with coffee one afternoon just when I needed it most. I mean, that was incredibly sweet and, bae, if you are listening, thanks for that one. I NEEDED it.
It’s also not because he drew a little heart on the top with a red sharpie. But come on, that’s adorable. He knows I love the cheesy attention to detail.
No, what really got me that afternoon was what he was saying with that little cup of coffee.
We’re months deep into sleep exhaustion. The night before had been a rough one.
In the past, when challenges from any chapter in the parenting handbook (that does not exist) would surface, admittedly we struggled. Uncertainty for how to respond led to quiet miscommunication. Which made room for resentment. Which never plays well together with sleep deprivation. You know the game.
Should we know what we are doing three kids in? You might think that. And you would be wrong. We were. Still continue to be.
But maybe we are getting better about something. Maybe we’re learning how to quietly see each other. He knew it was a rough night. And he knows he can’t fix it. So he no longer tries. At least not in the way he used to.
Instead, he does the next best thing. He shows up with coffee in between work appointments to fuel the long afternoon. He puts a heart on it to show me it’s done in love, and possibly to make me smile.
And one more thing. And this one is important. This is where I think we’ve made the greatest improvement, through countless past mistakes.
With a hand on my hand and the softest smile he can muster in our shared exhaustion, he simply says “we’ll get there.” He says it after every rough night or challenging moment. He says it with his words and sometimes he just says it with coffee.
I know he’s right. It’s the greatest lesson we have taken away in our 6+ years of this coparenting gig. WE will get there. Together. Wherever THERE might be (spoiler alert, it’s just another parenting level to unlock with different monsters to battle.)
With coffee, with love, and with the quiet reassurance that neither of us are alone.