Dear Jack and Ben,
When each of you were born, your dad and I felt like a hurricane swept through and beat against the walls of the house that is our marriage. Don't get me wrong. We were thrilled to have each of you. It's just that marriage is hard. And when you throw a couple of kids into the mix . . . watch out. If you're not careful, the relationship that should be the most important relationship can start to look more like a babysitting partnership.
Your dad and I are fortunate, though. Our marriage was already built on a solid foundation of love and commitment to each other and to glorifying God in all that we do. So while having you guys shook things up a little, we really only ended up stronger in the end. I can honestly say that we are closer and more in love now that we have you guys than we were before you both came along.
But let me go back to that last paragraph for a minute: Marriage is still hard. Dad and I argue sometimes. We're on the same page on most things, but every so often we don't see eye to eye . . . sometimes on little things like who's turn it is to change Ben's diaper, what to make for dinner or who deserved to be voted out on Survivor. At other times we argue about bigger things like finances, discipline or situations at work.
We don't often raise our voices, but when you (Jack) can tell that we're disagreeing about something, you usually think it's some sort of joke. Sometimes, you'll even laugh and say, "Hey! Stop making fun of my mom!" or "Mom, leave Dad alone!" While the issues usually extend beyond us "making fun" of each other, it's good to know that there's nothing disturbing to you about our disagreements.
Ben, you on the other hand take things to heart a little more. Once a few weeks ago, Dad and I were making dinner and I was trying to keep something away from him. We were laughing and he was trying to get it from me . . . I can't even remember what it was now. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see you staring and I saw your bottom lip just pop out. I immediately hugged dad and said, "It's okay Ben! See, we're just joking!" But it was too late. You were so sad and broke down completely.
I want you both to know and to feel completely secure in the fact that nothing will happen to cause us your dad and I to stop loving each other. We choose to love each other, even when we don't feel like it. We're committed to each other for as long as we are both alive. I don't want either of you to ever doubt that.
Our marriage isn't perfect. We have to work on it and put time into our relationship to keep it healthy. Some marriages do end, and there are many reasons for that . . . when you get to the right age, we'll talk more about that. Not a day goes by, though, that I don't consider myself fortunate for being married to someone that I not only love, but also really, honestly enjoy being around.
My relationship with you boys is so important to me, but my relationship with Dad is most important. I know that keeping our marriage healthy is the best parenting move we can make.
I pray that someday, you'll find wives and love them as much as your Dad loves me. And I hope that they'll love you as much as I love your Dad. Until then, your Dad and I will try to be the best examples we can be.