Teaching our children how to love

June 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

One of the things Bryan and I often talk about is how we want to teach our children about love. We have been very lucky to discover a love that is equal parts friendship, passion, desire, humor, and shared interests. But what makes our love even stronger, we agree, is a common decision to be committed to each other no matter the obstacles. Thus far, the main hurdles have been geographical separation due to deployment and law school. Of course when we are together there are times when our moods don’t jive perfectly–Bryan might be energetic when I’m tired, or vice-versa–but we have learned to work around that. I’m sure once we’re finally reunited other things might pop up, but the distance is really the only issue right now, and it has made us so much stronger. We have to communicate more than we probably would if we were in the same house. Every few months we get a romance reunion. Then we say a tearful goodbye, and the tension builds over the next few months until we can see each other again. Both of us make sacrifices in order to strengthen our long-distance relationship, and the shared nature of those compromises binds us together even more tightly.

We just got our “engagement” photos back from the beautiful and talented Natalie Norton–we had so much fun, and it is so nice to have that documentation of our vacation in Hawaii. One of the many reasons I pushed to get them was to have something to show our children one day of when we were young, passionate newlyweds. Bryan was skeptical, and very tired that day, but he was a trooper and now that they are back he loves them so much. “Our love is incomprehensible to most mortals.” (that’s a quote from Bryan when I told him I was writing this blog post while Skyping with him)

After looking at the photos, Bryan remarked to me that he wants to renew our vows every year or so, in order to show our children a constant example of true, unswerving love. We want to show them that true love takes a bit of luck, and a lot of work and commitment–and renewing our vows often will be an example of how important it is to decide to love someone and never look back, even when it gets hard. We also definitely want to hire a photographer every year to take family photos (that include couples photos like our engagement ones) like the beautiful ones by Natalie Norton or Matt Sloan (who will be our wedding photographer).

I think a lot of people I know who currently struggle in relationships never had a good model of true love to draw from. Some of these people therefore don’t believe in love, or think that if it’s not perfect it must not have been meant to be (I think Sex and the City played a huge role in this for girls of my generation). Love exists–it’s not always perfect, sometimes it takes just deciding to be in love even when you’re not feeling so loving, and there must be a perfect balance of commitment and “into it”-ness on both sides of the relationship. If one partner is more “into it” than the other, or more willing to sacrifice, then it probably won’t work. I don’t know how to find that balance, but I do not that once you have something close to it it’s possible to work together to equalize the sides of the scale through communication and faith.

Anyways–enough sounding like Dr. Phil. The point is I can’t wait to share our engagement photos with you. I can’t wait for our second wedding/party in August. I can’t wait to get our wedding photos taken in August. I can’t wait to reunite with my beautiful husband. And I can’t wait to create a family and teach our children what it means to love–not just your partner, but your family members, friends, and even strangers. Bryan and I hope that by renewing our vows with our children present, and taking advantage of the talented photographers out there to document our lives as our family grows together, we will progress towards this goal.

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