If you are lucky enough to fall in love - and stay there - then you will find out that love that endures is the best kind of love. The love that Taylor Swift sings about can make your heart flutter while you think of your beau or girl when the radio is on. But until you experience love that endures - love that matures, morphs, and adapts - you're only getting part of the story. You're starting a book and putting it down at page 75. You have to stick around during the boring parts of character backstory, for the chilling moments, the regular moments, and the build up to the exciting parts. Then you'll know that you're in it until the end, whatever that looks like.
The thrilling newness of an introduction isn't love - at least not the kind of love that eventually leads you to propose. Or that keeps you together once the thank-you notes have been written and your belongings have been merged and edited. Love is different once you buy a house, when someone loses a job, decides to become an entrepreneur, or wants to start a new career. Love grows as each of you change, radically different and other than the person who said "I do" years earlier.
Introduce a child into the mix and watch your love morph again, get older, help you get through sleepless nights and frustrating days. Watch your love compel you to watch her, being a mom, feeding a baby, calming a scared infant, pushing a stroller, and reading to your daughter. This love is what makes you a better parent and a better spouse.
The flexibility of love is perhaps its greatest asset. It's ability to change and improve, to grow deeper and stronger over the years, making you different than you were yet still connected to who each of you is becoming. This love is something you can never describe but can only recognize in the flash of a moment that reminds you why you will never want another. It is the very thing that binds you and bids you to continue to learn, grow, change, and become together.
Happy eighth anniversary, Lynnette.