The Crush of Love
The most adorable elderly couple lives in my town, and they go to my church. They sit in the same pew at the same Mass every single Sunday, and they are cuteness personified. Why? Because it’s obvious to anyone who sits remotely close to “their” pew: they are madly in love with each other.
The couple has probably been married for 30 or 40 years, maybe more. They are as sweet as can be. When the Hubs and I were newlyweds and preggers with our first born, they would smile and wink at us, and occasionally ask me to remind them when I was due.
After Mark was born, they doted on his growth milestones throughout his first year. They didn’t mind at all if our baby was being noisy or disruptive – they just smiled all the more. And, when I started showing baby bump number two, they stopped smiling: I think they actually grinned with their winks.
But back to my story about their mad love affair…
Even at church, this couple can’t keep their hands off each other. The white haired gentleman puts his arm around his wife during the homily. He keeps his hand on the small of her back during the Creed, and when they stand for hymns, you’d think they were conjoined at the hip and the hands. And the “kiss of peace” part of the Mass? They kiss of course! No peck on the cheek stuff for them. Like really kiss.
Some people probably find all this utterly annoying. If I could read thoughts I’d probably hear stuff like “There is a place for PDA and it is not at church! Ewww! Gross! Get a room!”
And I get it – really, I do. But there’s a part of me that loves watching a love affair in full bloom – a marriage in full maturity and understanding and loveliness and communion with each other.
When I’ve been married 40+ years, I hope the Hubs and I still can’t keep our eyes off each other. I hope we’re the ones grinning at the newlyweds with their hands full of two rambunctious babies during Mass. I hope we’re the ones holding hands and making out (well, at least a little bit) during the “kiss of peace.”
The Hubs and I have noticed something really cute in our home. When he and I start hugging or smooching when our two year old is present, Mark literally lunges for both of us, and squeezes his little body between us until he is right smack in the middle of our mini makeout session. He looks up expectantly until we start showering him with kisses…and he stays there with the biggest grin on his little face.
The other day this happened in our dining room, right before dinner. Both boys were in their seats already and I was serving food. As I walked passed the Hubs’ chair, he pulled me onto his lap for a big hug. Mark, who was sitting in his toddler chair right next to us, started begging to get on daddy’s lap too.
Laughing, we took him out of his chair and grabbed him up in our hug. He looked up at me with a huge grin and said “THANK YOU, Mommy!”, then turned to my man and said “Thank you, thank you Daddy!”
In her book Chosen and Cherished, Kimberly Hahn calls this a child’s desire to be caught up in “the crush of love” between a husband and wife.
I hope my little bit of paradise always has this crush of love present. I hope my children will continually feel caught up and held safely in the embrace of their parents.
And when I’m 65 or 72 or 89, I hope I still can’t keep my hands off my husband, even for the 60 minutes we’re sitting in Sunday Mass.