On loving someone for a while: / by Christina Rosalie

There is a slow magic to knowing someone for a while; to loving them for longer than a decade; to waking up beside them morning after morning. It isn't an effortless thing, or something you just stumble into. Rather, it's a thing of shared dreaming: Of taking each other's hands, of walking side by side, of saying yes, and imaging what our future holds together.

I don't take a single day for granted. Each day I wake up committed and eager to try again, to grow, to live this life side by side, and so does he. I think this makes us among the lucky ones.


The truth is, after a dozen years, he's still my favorite.

I love him more than I ever did when we first were dating, that's for certain. He has better biceps now; more smile lines; less hair; more scars; deeper laughter; wider love.

Have I ever told you about how we met? He asked me to go downhill mountain biking the day after we'd met, and I said yes, even though I'd never done such a ridiculous thing before. We road the chair lift up the mountain together, and somehow while taking pictures with a disposable camera we dropped it, and even though we rode down and looked for it, we never found the camera that had the first evidence of us together on it, his arm around my shoulder.

He let me ride his bike because mine was not really cut out for hurtling down such steep terrain, but somehow he broke my front wheel in the process, which was a great guarantee, really, that we'd have to see each other again.

And when we did, I remember thinking: How could anyone be this good, this solid, this open hearted? And then he kissed me.

We were in college still.

Now we're at a stoplight driving into town with the boys in the back seat and the dog in the trunk and we both stare in wonderment at the group tour of the UVM campus that's crossing the road in front of us. The kids are so young; so fresh faced and slouchy and hesitant in their posture. Their parents stand upright, arms folded, or hands clutching catalogs and brochures or handbags; and they look anxious and skeptical and worried and old.

How is it possible we'll be them in ten years? Instead of the younger ones, looking careless, their arms and legs like question marks, their clothes too baggy or too tight. How is it possible that Bean will be one of those boys, his sandy hair all shaggy, stubble on his cheeks?

We shake our heads. He reaches out and rests his warm palm against my thigh. Then the light turns green.