I cannot honestly tell you when I fell in love with Kyle. Was it the day he complimented my gigantic walkman, circa 1989, in a dark empty theatre? The basement cast-party where he made me laugh so hard, I spit water out all over his face? Or the night I drove him home and he turned to me as he jumped out of my 1999 Astro mini-van and mumbled, "I love you," rain soaking through his grey hoodie and long hair? Was it that first rehearsal after his brother had died, unexpectedly, at the age of 29, when he stood on the stage across from me, looking lost? Or the July afternoon in the parking lot of the carwash, his face dark with sun, wearing that horrible dog-farting t-shirt I begged him to throw away? Or the night of our sophomore year of college when I smashed my finger in the door frame and began to cry and then noticed the tears running down Kyle's face...when I had asked him what was wrong, he replied, "You're hurt"...? Or the day he left for California when he freaked out about gum on the bottom of the flip-flops I had bought for him? Maybe it was the late night sitting on his kitchen floor where he flippantly proposed marriage (oh, if he only he had KNOWN what he was in for!)?
Honestly, I don't know when it happened. One second, I was just me and the next...I was me and Kyle, wrapped up in one impossibly big blanket of understanding that this, THIS was it. But even then...I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know how many nights I would spend sleepless, afraid and trembling, days I would spend fighting, falling, and getting up again, afternoons I would spend helplessly in love, beyond comprehension or thought or words.
I had a minor epiphany the other day, though...Because the Kyle I fell in love with is a new Kyle every day. Certainly, the Elizabeth he fell in love with is a new Elizabeth every half-hour! And I realized that I am falling in love with a brand new Kyle all the time.
Perhaps, most importantly, my idea of how to love is changing, growing. Expanding. I feel like I'm enrolled in a constant crash-course guide to my husband.
Falling in love might only take a moment. But loving someone is like...learning a foreign language. Somedays, I think my love gets lost in translation. I'm sure he feels that way with me, too. But now and then, like with my very limited French, I learn a new verb tense or a fantastic new adjective that gives me a chance to more adequately say: "I love you, Kyle, to the moon and back, and while my study habits need improving, I hope you'll give me an A...because I'm learning."