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Our little family is currently in the throes of a 4 month sleep regression.

This is also in addition to a dog that is sick and is showing it all over the house at all hours of the day and night.

There is not one living being under our roof that is at its best (even our plants look sad).

We are tired, eating crap, grunting, sniping at each other with dog poop in one hand and baby poop in the other….in short, we are in love.

Let me explain.

A few days ago I heard someone on the radio talking about love and weddings and what scripture reading they wanted to showcase on their big day.

It has actually always been a little game I play with myself to see what people have read at their weddings. I think it says so much, especially since 95% of the verses read have nothing to do with marriage or human love in the first place. This is in addition to the woefully lacking perspective of love from a woman in scripture.

I often look to my homegirl, Martha, in Luke – the patron saint of a woman getting shamed for doing the work no one else is willing to do and keeping things running – as a hint toward real “love”.

The thing is that dirty, messy, human love is rarely patient, easily angers, and keeps record of wrongs. It does this because it’s human.

Human love is a son caring for his incontinent father. It is a mother worried sick over her child with addiction. It’s a single mother working 4 jobs to make ends meet. It’s a woman staying by her sister’s side during 36 hours of labor. It is a woman leaving a toxic and abusive situation. It is living on an hour and a half of sleep because of a sleep regression with a dog with diarrhea….and then willingly waking up and doing it all over again.

This love is base and primal and bumpy and can at times bring out the worst in us. But, love is a willing choice every hour and every day. It is choosing to stay (or go) when no one else in the same position would or has. You don’t close in on yourself (although, at times I seriously fantasize about spending an entire day -and night – totally alone).

Something deep down inside of you keeps you around – fighting, and wiping, and waking up to try it again…love.

Love isn’t about power or best friends or kisses under the stars or chocolates. Those are really nice things (and I look forward to getting back to all of them), but real true human love is so much better and complex than that.

Or….at least that’s what I told myself this morning at 2:38 am while holding Bennett in my arms, the sick dog at my feet, while my partner continued to be by my side in the trenches with dried spit-up on his arm and remnants of the chicken fried rice we had for dinner on his pants.

That’s some serious down and dirty love.

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