Pink Laundry: Dropping the dreaded D word

Marriage can be tough, especially when you're looking at it through the eyes of a five-year-old

It was one of those days. Again.

The house was in shambles, the preschooler had slapped the Kindergartener, the puppy pooped on the carpet — five times — and Mommy didn’t get a chance to shower or throw on a lick of makeup.

As we sat around the dinner table that night inhaling Chinese takeout (again), our oldest daughter, Molly, dropped her fork, looked daddy dead in the eye and brought up the dreaded D-word.

“Are you and mommy going to get a divorce?” she asked, raising a wee eyebrow and an egg roll.

At that moment Jason turned to me, his look of exhaustion was quickly replaced by sheer amusement.

“Now, why would you ask that?” he responded, stifling a laugh.

“Well, your friends got a divorce and *so and so*… and well, just look at mommy,” she said, glancing over  in my direction.

“She always wears her pyjamas at dinner, never puts on makeup anymore and has her hair in that bun thing  —  again,” she said, rolling her eyes.

Despite the fact that our little miss know-it-all was correct on all counts, she couldn’t be more off base.

“Honey, mommy and daddy love each other  —  we’re never getting a divorce,” said Jason.

“We’ll see…” said Molly

“We’ll see?” asked Daddy.

“Yep, we’ll see,”  responded our little pride and joy.

While Jason and I may not show each other as much affection as we should in front of the girls, nor do I spend as much time in the mirror as I did in my 20s (and that’s probably a good thing), we’ve never been more in love.

Yes, go ahead, cue the sappy music.

It was exactly 12 years ago this month that Jason got down on bended knee on the White Rock pier to propose.

The snow was gently falling from the sky and my future husband was trembling — a combination of nerves and the winter chill in the air. I’m still surprised he didn’t drop the ring into the icy-cold water below us.

We were so young by today’s standards — I was 21, he was 22 —  really, I had no business saying yes and he was crazy for asking.

After all, we had only started dating four months prior when I picked him up at a local karaoke bar. I was newly single and full of liquid courage when I sent a shot of tequila his way.

“Cheers, you’re hot,” I said, giving him my most seductive come hither look as we clinked glasses.

In retrospect, it was probably more sloppy than sexy.

Since I was headed for journalism school in Kamloops the following week, I figured I’d probably never see him again. Well, whoever said you can’t meet Mr Right at a bar was oh-so-wrong.

Yes, I’d still go off to college, but would drive home almost every weekend, braving treacherous driving conditions. Jason would also come up to see me every chance he got — on a couple of occasions his Mustang convertible almost went off the Coquihalla.

The flip side of being so crazy in love at such a young age was the dramatic fights, jealousy, resentment and poor spending choices that would ensue. There were spilled beers, tears — pretty much all the trappings of a sad country song. But no, I wouldn’t steal his truck, break his heart or take his dog.

It has also been such an incredible experience to grow up together. Jason is no longer that young 20-something with a backwards hat, baggy jeans, double earrings  on one side and a cigarette hanging from his lips.

Today, he’s a 30-something devoted husband and father who always puts his three ladies and new fur baby first. Thankfully, he even sacrificed his nasty smoking habit for me — my only stipulation for walking down the aisle.

There have been few rocky years and I’ve been guilty of casually tossing around the D-word in the past, but it’s a verb that has long since vanished from my vocabulary.

I guess that’s why we were both so taken aback to hear it come straight from our bambina’s mouth.

Yes, we’re broke, tired and thicker in the middle these days, but our relationship is stronger than ever.

When both our girls are finally fast asleep and Tucker is tuckered out in the corner with a chew toy, we love to cuddle on the couch, share a bottle of wine and have marathon sessions of our favourite show while folding all the pink laundry.

The very next morning while getting the girls ready for school, I snuck a smooch on daddy’s lips.

“Yuck, that’s gross,” squealed Zoe, covering her eyes.

Molly didn’t seem to share her  three-year-old sister’s feelings about our little PDA session.

“Aww, do it again!” she said, smiling from ear-to-ear.

Perhaps we’re going to have to step up our game a bit —  maybe I’ll even bust out my flat iron and swap my yoga pants for real clothes every now and then. However, I think we’ll leave that tequila bottle sealed or that mountain of laundry will go unfolded and those early mornings with the girls won’t be as charming.

Kristyl Clark is a work-at-home mom who writes monthly for Black Press and is the founder of the family ‘blogazine’ She’s also a host of the online show Fraser Valley 5. Follow her on Twitter at @shesavalleymom and Facebook.

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