There is a famous line we have posted many times here at Daily Dad, one that’s always popular on Instagram whenever it goes up. The most important thing you can do for your kids, it reads, is love their mother. While the quote could be made to be more inclusive (for both genders and for modern, blended families) the overall wisdom is spot on: Kids thrive when their parents not only get along, but love each other. A good marriage is a critical part of a happy home.
But what kind of love are we talking about? What kind of marriage are we talking about?
In today’s email, we thought we’d share a beautiful description of a marriage and love from Anne Morrow Lindbergh (who yes, we know, we have been talking about a lot recently. But you MUST read her book Gift from the Sea).
“For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond,” she writes, “becomes actually…many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, but many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow-growing devotion, and, playing through these, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and, known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day-to-day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.”*
As we said recently, the bonds of her own marriage would be severely tested over the years, first by her husband’s radical (and inexcusable) political views and later by the revelations that he had fathered several children with other women. While he wasn’t able to live up to this beautiful passage in his own marriage, don’t you deserve the ideals Anne described? Didn’t she?
Doesn’t your spouse and co-parent deserve that? Don’t your kids deserve it? To live safely within it, to see it as an example too?
Well, then start weaving it. Or, in some of our cases, start repairing it. Start protecting it. Start putting in the work and never stop putting in the work. Because as wonderful and beautiful and timeless as this kind of love is, it doesn’t just happen.