Dear my love,

I am sitting here at the table you built, back when time was plentiful, and money was sparse. Back when pre-drinks were always at our place, loving sleep-ins were abundant, and the days were our own. I wonder . . . back then, what we might have imagined our life would look like, 10 years later?

Would we have pictured the white picket fence, the curly, fair-haired, sensitive little boy and cheeky little girl? We probably would have imagined that we would be hard working, but would we have pictured the deep-set exhaustion that is our day-to-day reality? The never-ending to-do list and the worries of being responsible for the lives of two little people?

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Would we have imagined the distance growing between us, exchanges often business-like, rushed, practical? Would we have felt sad if we had predicted the feelings of loneliness while wanting so much to be left alone? The boredom and the monotony, while simultaneously being so busy that important things get forgotten? That we would forget to hold hands and be close and be kind to each other and that months or years would go by without us even sleeping in the same bed?

Would we have anticipated the cries from our baby that abruptly break the silence of the night, interrupting any stolen relaxation or sleep? Would we have believed anyone who told us the magic in our little boy would fade as he grew, and that the laughter that had bounced off the walls would be replaced with constant nagging, discipline, and sternness?

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Are we happy, my love? Is this the best life can be? Some days I feel happy, rich, full, warm, and content. But other days everything just feels so hard, daunting, and overwhelming . . . and I feel so, so alone.

I miss you, my love. I wonder if we will ever again find the calm stillness that our life once included when we stayed in bed until midday or spent whole afternoons watching TV together, deep into the night. Not for a moment do I regret having our children, but I don’t remember ever imagining that it would be this hard.

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