I see you, I do. You are right over there but your name isn’t Jamie, it’s Dad. Past the skid mark on the carpet and the multiple dolls house pieces. Over that half eaten sandwich and a little further right of the sh*tty nappy that the dogs had a good lick at. Nope, past the baby raiding the dvd drawer for a fresh lick at our new box set. Yeh there. Wrestling the toddler for the last bite of your darned doughnut. There you are darling.
I love you, I want you to know I see you.
I see you bringing me tea in the morning and running back down to get the kids milk and juice before squeezing into the last inch of bed for a cuddle with our girls. I see the hand reach over their beautiful little heads and stroke my shoulder as you say good morning. Our lips don’t touch but our eyes always meet.
I see the twinkle in your eye when I strategically try to cover my ‘mum’ body and stick on the old clothes I wore from yesterday. God forbid you seen the nipples that fed your children or the vagina that birthed them. I mean, you’ve seen my vagina in all its forms. More than I have. In theory my vagina must look like a friggin’ sparkly disco ball today in comparison to the ‘zombie apocalypse’ scenes you’d witnessed on our kids horrifically beautiful birthing days. Yet I still hide. I see you wanting me to love myself, love each and every flaw the way you so effortlessly do. I’m trying. The thing is, I am surrounded by three beautiful humans that I love even more than myself and so, it’s easy to loose sight of me when I want so dearly to keep you all smiling.
I see you worry, I see you look at me and I see how you take the kids to let me breathe just a little. You worry where I go and what I think when I hear the kids crying from upstairs in my office and I’m trying to rest or build on my dream of this connection I have with the world. I know maybe a little, you think I blame you, you think I’m bitter of the freedom you have but I don’t, I’m not. OK, If only for a second before I remind myself you’d take the reigns more if you could. If only until I gather myself together and realize how wonderful it is that I will never miss a moment of our children’s lives. You will. Don’t worry, I am strong. I have got this, I’ve got this because of you. I love this. I love you.
I see the socks and the clothes you leave on the bedroom floor and the empty snack packets from your midnight feast. I get angry and for minutes I believe it was selfishness but then I see you choose your priorities, I watch you run as soon as your clothes are changed to take on your role of dad instead. Every single moment you get in our home, every minute they are awake, you are there with them. Focusing on their smiles instead of a full bin or an unpaid bill. How can I question that? Your priorities are right where they should be. With them, with me. The rest can wait.
I see you on your phone. Watching the football scores roll in whilst ‘My Little Pony’ plays on the big TV. Please don’t feel guilt. I see you speaking to friends you’ve not seen in months and consistently watching video’s of inspiring life leaders to better yourself. For us, for you. Everything you do away from us has one simple thing in common. It’s for us. You always put us first.
I see the weight ease on your neck as you walk in our home when I’ve cleaned and entertained the kids all day. I know that shift in your body is your appreciation. I know I say I need your words, I need to hear you say you understand that my life is at times repetitive and lonely. Though I say this, really I know you know. All I need to see is your eyes light up in relief because after your physically long day, I’ve taken the work load off – I’ve given you a chance to stick your feet up without me asking you for more. I see the relief, I see the appreciation – even if at times it may seem I don’t. I know.
I see that your legs have ran for miles and yet you do not quiver when I ask you to walk more. You never moan. You lift the kids, you walk the dogs and you do round upon round of our home tidying up toys as the kids pull out more after I’ve cleaned all day. I see you try to keep up on the upkeep of our house that I spend most of my life in. I see you struggle but I see you try. That is enough, it will always be enough. Even if my tone says otherwise.
I see you wonder as you open the fridge but you don’t know how to cook the items in it. I see you wanting to know how because you see me struggle. You see me wanting a break but I see you, I see you make what you can and on the evenings where I stand at the cooker and make a meal with my eyes half shut, I feel your hands on my hips and that small kiss that says, “thank you.” I never fail to take that in. Then I watch you entertain the kids so I can cook in peace. It’s then I realise we are a team – you don’t need to know it all. You do you and I’ll do me.
I see you look at me and wonder what my full story was. I see you wishing me to remember and hoping it will free me. I feel your proudness towards my pain that I hide so well. I adore that patience that has allowed me to feel the emotions I’ve had to feel and I see it, I see your persistence and steadiness. Your understanding never falters. I believe you when you say you love me more after walking beside me on my journey through my past. My insecurities say different but I know you are there. I see you, I know you will always be there. I know my scars don’t scare you. Deep down I know.
I see you wanting me. I feel it. I know you are desperate for me to be less interested in changing myself and more interested in loving myself. I know you want my love more than I give. I see your eyes twinkle as I dare to kiss you amongst the chaos of family life. The way we used to. I feel your body not wanting to let go when I find for just a second, the courage to stand in the present, to hug you and not let go. I see your eyes wonder over my body as I turn to hide, then I see that smile forgiving me for not letting you look. I feel you wanting me and I feel the disappointment when you realize that I have so little left to give from my day. Then I see it, that understanding.
I see your acceptance that our children get more than you. I see your eyes are flooded with adoration for the amount I give to our home, our children and our lives. I see that hand again as we lay in bed, I feel it stroke my cheek as you sit your head so close to mine and expect nothing else. I see your eyes close and I know, you love me like no other. You don’t need what we had. It’s still right there. It’s just different right now.
I see you. I see you across that room, across that bed and in-between, I see them. Those beautiful little girls, I see us in them. I see our family.
There you are and I’m right here. ‘Til death do us part.