This morning, a handful of years back, I would be waking up late to my teenaged fiance beside me. I’d be admiring the way the sunlight hit the petite diamond on my finger, and listening to the sounds of him breathing, a lawn mower blaring in the distance, an airplane overhead (we call these “Florida sounds” now). I’d be thinking that I had love all figured out. It was us against the world, after all. He’d wake up and immediately pull me closer, and we’d kiss for years. This morning, I woke up to the birds sleepily chirping. I looked at the sky through the crack in the blinds. It was dark blue. The dim morning light lay so sweetly on my now very much a man husband, stealing his last few minutes of sleep before the alarm would go off. When it did, he didn’t stir until I gently rubbed his arm. When his eyes opened, they met mine, and we smiled at each other for awhile. His eyes dropped to our two-week old son, whose bare belly was stuck to mine and nose and cheeks pressed to my chest, and he smiled bigger, and closed his eyes for a second like he does when something warms his heart. Turns out, I didn’t have love figured out at all at seventeen. I had barely had a sampling of it. What we shared then was so real and raw, but it’s aged into something that seems to make my soul ache in a way that I’ve never experienced before. It’s those tired eyed conversations with no audible words that we both understand. The way I can read his thoughts in his irises. That with just a few sleepy smiles and glances we can both say, “Good morning, I love you, I want you, and I’m here for you, always.” We can reach out our fingers under the covers and lock them together, and somehow, it gives more feeling than that first time he grabbed my hand in a movie theater. And don’t get me started on the little soul that we bought into this world together (who sticks to me like glue). That one has defined loved for me in a brand new way. I guess I still don’t have love all figured out, but I’m realizing that time and experience continually transforms it and grows it and makes it into something so achingly consuming and meaningful and unforgettable. Falling in love was fun, but sustaining love has been everything. It’s us against the world, after all.