I spotted indie actor Paul Dano a few weekends ago. He’s extraordinarily tall and was smiling benignly, quiet, bent over to listen to his petite girlfriend while they walked. Something about it reminded me of when you first experience being smitten at age nineteen or whatever, and how in a couple, you kind of imitate adult behavior by acting all couple-y. It’s the first time that you can test the waters of treating another person with tenderness, and it is a pleasant stage to remember. What was funny though is that I’m so far from that time in my life that my reaction was maternal, like I hope Baby grows up and gets to bend his head near the one he loves and listen to what that person has to gab about.
I don’t want to say romance is not present in relationships you’ve been in for many years, but I suppose it’s not the same as that first blush, you feel me? Still, I wouldn’t say it’s dead. Having a child in certain ways, despite the puke on your clothes and the amazing sleep deprivation, is as a profoundly a romantic gesture as any, a very I-like-you-enough-to-have-a-child-with-you kind of thing. I remember wheeling Baby around in his baby bin around the hospital shortly after giving birth, Husband by my side, holding my hand. Our stroll reminded me of college sweethearts doing slow laps around a lake.