Marriage Letters: On the Nightly Routine

Dear Amber,

It’s 2:20 a.m., and I’m still awake.  Of course, it’s 8:30 in Amsterdam, where I’m typing this letter and I’m drinking coffee, which will no doubt make it difficult to fall asleep any time soon.  I can’t remember the last time I had coffee at 2:20.  Perhaps grad school?

I’m thinking about how much I missed our routine last night–the winding down with a glass of wine and an episode of Bones, the whimpering of a dozing baby.  Instead, I fell asleep sitting up–next to Andrew, no less–on an airplane bound for Holland.  We would down by playing the inflight games.  He whipped me in Reversi, but I stuck it to him in trivia.  Unfortuately, Barry, the passenger in seat 23H whipped us both in trivia, but that is neither here nor there.

I wonder how you wound your evening down.  Was it peaceful and relaxing?  Did the community group visit and help with the children?  Did you run through the Witching Hour with the fury of a Wynton Marsalis solo? Did you drink without me and laugh at Brennan’s jokes?

For seven years(more or less) we’ve ended the day together.  People ask how we managed to get on the same schedule, how one doesn’t need to stay up later and read or watch television.  I tell them that it’s good accountability, and besides, it’s just easier to fall asleep when your side of the bed is warm.  I tell them that if it was good enough for the Bradys and the Cleavers, it’s good enough for us.

I reckon folks see us as a bit old fashioned, but that’s okay.  We’ve found a good rhythm–the pulling back of the covers and climbing in, the palm of my hand on your side, the slowing of my breathing until sleep sets in, your waking me up for a drink of water, your cell phone, or an Advil.  And it’s the good rhythms that keep us upright and on course.  The good rhythms that set the tone.  Because good rhythms transcend a nightly ritual and seep into a daily practice of togetherness.

That, I think, is a rhythm worth preserving.

From way over here,



Join us (Joy and Scott, too!) for more letters over at Amber’s place.

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1 Response to Marriage Letters: On the Nightly Routine

  1. Just sitting here, crying. I am so beyond blessed to know you two, your beautiful boys, and the gumption with which you fight for marriage and life together.

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