I don’t blog about my marriage.  It was kind of an understanding we made back in the beginning.  My husband read a few posts and thought he looked pretty bad, so he asked that I don’t bring him in if I don’t have to. I respect that and really try to keep him out.  Try being the operative word.

But tonight something happened that was….  profound, if you will, that caused me to take pause.  Ask questions.  Complete thoughts.

I was playing outside in the back with my girls.  It is a beautiful day.  The temperature is mild, there is a nice breeze, and I have a good friend over adding to the happiness of the day.  Soccer is our game of choice and the three girls and the two ladies are tripping over ourselves trying to get to the purple, over sized ball.

My neighbor’s daughter that backs up to our property gets home with her two children, a 6 year old and a 2 year old.  Her 6 year old comes running over, asking if she can come over and play.  I smile, wishing life could be just that easy, and tell her that I have a friend over and they we are about to go in and make dinner.  Katie is obviously disappointed but I cajole her in with the promise of dessert after she eats.

As I tear Katie from the fence, convince Sarah that it is time to get some food and bend down to swing Megan up in my arms, I hear my neighbor’s, who have driven up and come out to the back to play with their grandchildren, ask their daughter a muffled question.

I hear, clear as day, “Daddy is not coming home anymore.”

My head flips around.  I can’t stop it.  It is just such a shocking statement to hear from a 6 year old’s mouth.

All three adults look up at me, I realize they are hoping I have not heard, so I yell for Katie again and hurry in.  Not too fast, but just fast enough.

Oddly, I feel as though my breath has been taken away.  As if it were my four year old telling me that her Daddy was not coming home.  It hit a place I did not know I had and yet was always aware existed.

My husband and I have our issues.  I think most marriages do, at least from talking to other people, I think they do. We have a very high stress lifestyle.  He works very long hours and I am alone with the kids – a lot.  Even when he is here, he’s tired, fielding phone calls from work, and consumed with what he does all day.

Our fights are the same.  He needs more time in a day, I need more time from him and both of us need more money.  We get angry, say things we don’t mean and promise to never do it again.  Until the next time, of course.

But I wonder, despite the fact that I, in frustration and anger at times, have said I would go, how does a marriage get to a point where a six year old is announcing her father’s exit to her grandparents in the back yard, for all to hear?

And are we close?  Is everyone close?  In this time of 3 day Hollywood marriages, infidelity at an all time high, and divorce lawyers around every corner, what does keep a marriage together?  Especially when children and the stress of supporting those children in a no job security environment takes a toll?  When the husband wants sleep and the wife wants a little kind attention?  And the money never stretches?  And everyone wants more time to interact with God?

I don’t know the answers to any of these.  All I know is that  hearing that little girl speak such a devastating sentence in such an innocent voice cracked my heart open a little.  And out of that crack, that had been boarded up with my own begrudging attitudes, spilled my love for my God and my love for my husband.

And my desire to never hear those words come out of my daughter’s mouths.