Perhaps you are magical. Perhaps you already know it. I’m not sure about that, but I do know that you are also real.
Marry a man who knows you are both.
A man who can navigate the wild tangle of your mind, past the castles it builds and around the mythical creatures it conceives, to pursue the truth beneath your story.
A man who can kiss you both tenderly and fiercely. Whose hands you can trust to know your each freckle and fold and to hold you as you shudder with ecstasy or with grief. A man who can magic away all hurts for your children with those same lips, and teach the ultimate art of fort-building with those same hands.
A man who anchors you.
Such a man can look into your eyes and know your quiet power but patiently wipe away your loud, impetuous tears of frustration at things that don’t matter. Even when he knows you know better, are better.
Marry a man who adores your flesh and bones, who sees your heart, but doesn’t shy away from your ugliness, your realness. He isn’t bothered by your morning breath and (in emergencies only) lets you poop while he’s in the shower. He holds your hair back when you’ve had too many mojitos on your first night out together in years. He paints your toenails (messily) and trims your bush (delicately) when you’re so pregnant that you can no longer reach or see either. Just to help you feel sexy again. He is right there with you, holding your hand and giving you lollipops and sips of water through the birth of both your babies (even when you growl at him).
A man who rides the waves of your volatile emotions like an expert seaman through oceans of confusion, pain and self-pity. And he knows just how to steer you calmly back towards the shore of reason and balance. Every time.
A man who always sees your strength and beauty, even when you can’t. But he will call you on your bullshit too, even when you fool everyone else.
A man who knows that you can be marvelous and mundane at the same time and without conflict, because he understands the magic of the ordinary. He is the same.
A man who reads, questions, fantasizes and philosophizes but also has X-box binges, leaves his underwear on the bathroom floor and loves a good dirty joke. He is no less magical because of these things.
A man who will debate (and sometimes argue) with you way past midnight. You’ll talk about colonialism and education in Africa, whether there is a God and how to raise your rowdy 4-year-old son to be a good man.
Marry a man who will walk through life by your side. Through mistakes and heartbreak. Through charmed times and hard times, from holidays on the Italian coast to eggs on toast for dinner for the third time this week because things are tight. Through births and death, from deepest loss to greatest triumph and on all the ordinary days in between.
A man who will be your son’s hero: a man who ‘knows everything about the world’, according to him. A man who will encourage him to be curious, to find out how things work and how to improve them. He will change dirty nappies without flinching, make up nonsense lullabies and stay up late rocking a fussing baby so that you can get some sleep, even though he has go to work tomorrow.
A man who loves you for all that you are and despite all that you are. He is by your side not because of some vows he made or a spell you cast over him or because you are his fairy princess but because you are home.
What you have will be sometimes messy, sometimes difficult, sometimes complicated, not always magical but always, always real.