Even in the day-to-day.
It was somewhere on my playlist, but since I’d set it to shuffle before tackling my disaster of a kitchen, I really gave it no thought. I scrubbed, swept, put things away, and loaded the dishwasher to Bruno Mars, One Republic, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, and more. It was an eclectic list of songs, just a few favorites. We have a long-standing tradition of blasting music as loud as possible while cleaning, and this was exactly what I needed today.
But it was between Lady Antebellum and Katy Perry that it played, while I was on my hands and knees scrubbing at the dried ketchup on the kitchen floor. The first notes played and since they’re such a part of who I am, I smiled to myself, even while I debated taking a kitchen knife to the stubborn stain. I heard the first words…
All I am, all I’ll be
Everything in this world,
all that I’ll ever need
is in your eyes, shining at me.
I wondered when I’d last heard this song, knowing it didn’t matter, the words have long since been memorized, burned into who I am.
I do, cherish you
For the rest of my life
you don't have to think twice
I will, love you still
From the depths of my soul, it's beyond my control
I've waited so long to say this to you
If you're asking do I love you this much
I remembered the first time I’d heard it. It was on the radio, dedicated to one eighteen-year-old girl who’d fallen head over heels with the boy who’d called and requested it. It became our song within those three minutes it played. Every time it played, a smile would find its way to my face and it took days to disappear.
His shoes appeared in my line of vision and I jumped, lost in the moment and taken off guard. He hooked his hand behind my elbow and pulled me up. “Let’s dance,” he murmured. His mouth curved up, his blue eyes dancing as he led me into the living room and then pulled me into a slow dance.
As we swayed back and forth, I remembered another day. Same dance, same song, just twelve years earlier. I wore white and he’d taken off his tuxedo jacket, and when we danced on that day, the rest of the room disappeared. These words we’d sung to each other and danced together too many times to count, were being experienced for the first time as husband and wife. It was a heady experience and I remember very little except the way he looked at me, how safe it was in his arms, how it felt like we could conquer the world.
And yet, on this day, none of those things had changed. No matter that our guest bathroom smelled in a way that only happens when a little boy consistently misses his target. No matter that it had been weeks since our kitchen had seen the end of a mop. There was still the look of love, I still felt cherished, and knew with 100% certainty that I was safe in his arms.
I closed my eyes, my forehead settled on his chest, where he cradled the back of my neck in his hands. I laughed when he shared that four pairs of eyes were watching our every move. There were no wedding guests, but inquisitive and happy eyes as they watched their parents soak in each other and the moment. Hudson, deciding that he didn’t want to be excluded, came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my legs, making our dance an awkward shuffle of feet.
When it was over, Jon leaned down and planted a kiss on my lips. Then orders were barked to the Littles that they needed to get back to work, and laughing, little feet scampered back to their rooms. With a blush on my cheeks and lips warm from the kiss, I returned to the kitchen to tackle the dinner stains on the floor.
It’s amazing to me that our song has traveled long and far with us. From our teens to our twenties and into our thirties, from late night phone calls and school dances to newlywed years to family life. Even in the mundane, minute details of our life, even when I feel like there are so many things I feel I failed at or wish I could have a redo, THIS I know we do well. We cherish each other, we cherish what we have. We love. We fight. We forgive. We start over again.
I can’t wait to see where that song finds us in our forties.