I lie with my head nestled into his shoulder listening to the symphony of thunder, cicadas, and rain falling outside our bedroom window. The sounds of summer, amplified in the close darkness of night. My thoughts drift to another time, a time before the sweet one sleeping peacefully across the hall, before the furry one curled up at our toes. A time when a home, a new car, and a career seemed so distant — haphazard dreams in the chaos of youth. We had friends, disposable income, the incomprehensible vastness of a life yet to unfold. We were not burdened by experience. Our life was full, and it was all so grand.
I turn my face into his arm to smother the tears before he can notice. I press my cheek into his dampened t-shirt and think about the richness he has brought to my life. The moment stretches suddenly before me and we are the same as before, the same as always — a shared space, his arm hooked around my shoulders. We are no longer carefree, we are no longer young. We have added a thickness to our middles and a weariness to our eyes. We hug with a worn, familiar ease but we are not tired. We are Atlas now, together, our knees struggling to support the weight — for our friends, our family, our child — for each other.
I close my eyes and it could be the first summer, or two, five, ten summers past. The sounds are the same, always a melancholy tune to sing you sweetly to sleep and a promise of raucous birds to wake you, celebrating the dawn. I close my eyes and the vision of time passed becomes blurred. It is childish, but I want this moment to last forever. I want the comforting weight of his arm to remain, to remind me that our life is full — that it really is so grand.