Marriage Letters: Future Fantasy

Join Seth, Joy, Scott, and me today as we disclose our fantasies of the future state of our marriages.

Dear Seth,

We aren’t what we expected we would be. I married a youth minister that became a lawyer, for starters. I always imagined having two girls, and then we had 4 boys. I never really thought we would struggle, but we have. We do.

So I know to say that I have a fantasy of what we’ll be when we’ve grown older together, I know that fantasy is a pale shadow compared to what will be, and yet, I imagine any way …

We are on the bayou. The sun rises and sets against the water. The wood ducks live at the edge. I forget a lot. Your rear-end has completely gone and disappeared. I grab for it, often. Surely I’ll find it one day, I wink.

The boys come home and are no less loud than they were when small. In fact they’re louder, have married bold women, had boisterous kids. I watch you with your granddaughter. She has no idea how long we’ve loved her. She has no idea that when I was 8, I wrote in my Hello Kitty journal for her, or that your heart stayed filled with heavy anchors, until the day she was born. She came to be, and you let go of the world, finally.

We have books on birds that we don’t read, and we grow beets, and you have mastered, finally, pad thai. Our children drink wine with us, and we like them, will never tell them how we count the seconds till they get back home, and how we count the seconds until they leave again. They come, and we put chocolate on their pillows.

When you tickle the inside of my hand, I feel twenty. You read out loud to me. I still cry all the time, still stuck a little in the 90’s. Your brown eyes have found the deep. My eyes blur, and behind both of us are kids, kids who’ve grown to love a paradox, and were it not for the weather and pictures, we’d put down technology.

We fill journals again, paper.

We’ve travelled around the world, but we never make it to Paris or even to San Francisco. We’ve made our own secrets of Africa, India, and Tibet. We take photos and label them and make visitors listen, and we’ll know we’re boring them, but we won’t care. We’ll tell the story again and again – how things have fallen apart, how we’ve walked on water, seen the bread multiply. We’ll never stop telling our story. You’ll get the details wrong, and I’ll let it be. Things have a way of settling.

See the baby ducks on the water, the squirrel in the cypress tree. We have a sissy dog, and we call her some terribly cliche name.

Children together, again.


photo credit

Have you written on marriage lately? Leave us a link in the comments. Tell us, too, what do you imagine for your marriage.

We believe in the power of telling your story. Want to join us next Monday? Fight hard to preserve marriage with us, and next week write with us about your Nightly Rituals. Doesn’t that sound interesting?

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Cassie Boorn
Reply January 16, 2012

Oh Amber, your writing always paints a picture. I love these letters.

Reply January 16, 2012

this touched me like a sunrise.

melissa @ the pleated polka dot
Reply January 16, 2012

amber i get so excited when i see a post for this series. it's lovely. i imagine the future with the lover of my youth and our four darlings returning home with children of their own. life is good. it's a beautiful journey. thank you for another reminder to look around and look ahead to be thankful!

Joy @ Joy In This Journey
Reply January 16, 2012

I laughed so hard at the line about the disappearing butt. that's a mystery unfolding here as well. :D I hope one day we can visit you two on the bayou.

Jennifer Upton
Reply January 16, 2012

I was led to your blog via Deeper Story and I am thrilled to have found you. There was such an air of peace in your words. Beautifully written...

Reply January 16, 2012

Every stinkin' time, Amber. LORD. How do you do it? I'm a mess here. This is exactly IT. The thing of the thing, right here.

    imperfect prose
    Reply January 16, 2012

    isn't it? i know... we have to get together one of these days, girls. you both slay me.

diana trautwein
Reply January 16, 2012

Oh, yes...lovely. And it will be a lot like that. And a lot not like that, too. Wish I could write one for this series, but there are some things that I cannot say in this public space. I'll think on it.

Reply January 16, 2012

Sounds very much like where we are right now Amber. And it is so good.

    Reply January 16, 2012

    Linda, it's just encouraging to me to know that people have made it at all!

Reply January 16, 2012

Teary -eyed and inspired - how do you ALWAYS do that to me!? I think I'll make some time this week to do this fantasizing. In the meantime - my last marriage reflections

Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama
Reply January 16, 2012

How is it that I've never sat and imagined the future with Pete? Not the five year future but the forty. So much caught up in the chaos of now. Your future made me homesick for what's still to come. Now there's a good feeling I wasn't expecting on a Monday afternoon in Panera.

Reply January 16, 2012

So much goodness here, just dreaming in hope and how you use this art to plant seeds of hope in my heart too. Thank you.

Amanda @Wandering
Reply January 16, 2012

This is so beautiful - I need to do this more - envision the future. Right now with two little ones life is so heavy with things not being what I thought - thank you for this encouragement.

Reply January 16, 2012

Oh so lovely. Your writing makes my heart ache, wistful. Time goes by so quickly.

I especially like this part: "Our children drink wine with us, and we like them..."

Reply January 16, 2012

of everything i've seen today, this got me. thank you.

Shelly Miller
Reply January 16, 2012

I haven't allowed myself to think too much about that far down the road, just little glimpses and wishes I see in the eyes and smiles of my children now. But its good to think this way and dream open handed. Thank you for that. And maybe I will join you next week because the rituals change with longevity - 22 years of change! Just love the pictures you paint with words.

imperfect prose
Reply January 16, 2012

never. stop. writing.

Reply January 16, 2012

thanks for putting yourself out there and allowing us to hope alongside you. just beautiful.

erin a.
Reply January 16, 2012

Gorgeous Amber. I love this letter. the kids are even louder. Ha! Right?! I know we've done that to my parents. :) My mom just had to ask most of us to lower the volume at family dinner yesterday.

Reply January 17, 2012

Can we be your neighbors then? I want to sit on that couch often, friend!
You two are too cute. Sigh...

    Reply January 17, 2012

    YES! oh goodness. That was always our dream, wasn't it?

Rambling Heather
Reply January 17, 2012

Oh how I love this. I agree with Emily. Never. Stop. Writing. :)

Tamara Lunardo
Reply January 17, 2012

I love what you all are doing so much that it makes me teary. My husband would die a thousand deaths before he wrote in public, so perhaps the most loving letters I can write for him will be the ones no one else sees.

    Reply January 17, 2012

    Tamara, I think some of the very best things we may ever write will only be read by a very few.

Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight
Reply January 17, 2012

So. Lovely.

Mine is a little different...

Reply January 19, 2012

I would love to see the pictures you took on your travels.

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