Not to worry—my wife slept on the couch, too. We both sleep on the couch every night, because the two bedrooms in our converted one bedroom apartment are full of children. Our three-year-old daughter has her own room, and our twin boys, almost eight months old, took over our bedroom in short order with their crib and exersaucers, playmats, changing table, nursing chair, diapers, etc. . . .
So the evidence of Eros is hard to miss, but also hard to appreciate as such. There’s my recent back pain from the flimsy pull out mattress, there’s my wife’s chronic fatigue and what she describes as her search for a recognizable body (by the end of the boys’ pregnancy, she was carrying a total of fifteen pounds of baby!). And did I mention that we’ve only been married for four years? I never imagined that I’d be a father of three at thirty. We are both adjusting to lives radically different from what we imagined, and doing it on little sleep. If we’d known, we would have taken a longer honeymoon.
But here’s the whole point: honeymoons and Valentine’s days can be over-burdened with expectation. They must be, we are told, extra special, extra romantic, extra erotic (and extra expensive, to boot). For that reason, don’t feel bad if your date last night didn’t go exactly according to plan. Instead, join me in striving for . . .
The everyday erotic. The erotic in the middle of dirty diapers and a cluttered living room and children who outnumber us, and no privacy, and careers, and running the dishwasher twice a day, and making bottles and bottles and bottles of baby formula, and feeding the cat, and recycling, and trying to give everyone enough love and (perhaps especially for a husband?) wondering where all that attention that used to be focused on you went.
That can be a difficult erotic to achieve. It’s hard. It’s so hard. The good news is: when it happens, it’s good. It’s very, very good.