Last year was the year of paper. This year is the year of cotton. When I think of cotton my immediate thought is of pillows. You’d think I would envision white t-shirts, or cotton balls, or Hanes Her Way or something. But pillows it is.
I think of the many pillows I have cried into when we fight. The thousand pillows that threatened to push you out of the bed when I was pregnant and needed mountains of soft squishy support. That one time we were being silly and I smashed you in the face with a pillow and knocked your glasses off and then I cried because I thought I was going to give you a bloody nose. How I still have to cuddle a pillow at night because I got used to it during pregnancy and how you sometimes grumble at how you can’t get to me, so you end up spooning the pillow too, your hand reaching over the cottony mound to rest on the small of my back.
Cotton. All the laundry I do and how I sneak your sleeping shirts into the wash when you aren’t looking. Your proclamation that I must just adore chores that much that I will wash unnecessary things… when the truth is I just like clean stuff. You would totally run out of underpants if it weren’t for me… can we just be honest about that?
The piles of baby blankets we have on this chair and that couch and draped over the crib (sids hazard). How you never remember to put the dirty baby clothes in the hamper, how I always find little cotton onesies or little pants, piled up on the side of the changing pad. It’s a sign: Kamel was here.
And your socks. You used to be adamant about wearing socks to bed otherwise you were doomed to have a sore throat the next morning, but with two of us in the bed it gets too hot. And now they end up on the floor on your side, next to the window. I think there is also a pair of your unworn socks shoved between the couch cushions right now. You had sat down, ready to put socks and shoes on, somehow got distracted – as you so often do – and lost them, only to get another pair from the dresser. I don’t know this for sure, but I know you for sure and this is incredibly plausible. I haven’t moved them because I’m waiting to see if you’ll find them again.
Mostly I just want to tell you I love you.
In our first year of marriage I hated you and was crazy about you and fought you and marriage and the whole shebang. I was stupid in love. And we made a human.
In our second year you cared for me when I was a nauseous, bloated mess. You counted to ten as I pushed out our son. You are my partner in silly songs, in “What’s for dinner?”, in arguing over who gets to vacuum. You are my favorite person and I would be lost without you. Happy Anniversary.