Family Farming marriage Motherhood

Love Evolves: A Short Story

February 14, 2022

Nine years ago, love looked like counting down the minutes at work on Friday, then breaking the speed limit to get to the ranch. My stomach full of butterflies—all to spend the weekend with my boyfriend in the calving barn. We worked side by side, our love growing over manure, afterbirth, and newborn calves.

My boots were shiny and new, just like our love.

If I’m honest, I sometimes miss the days when I felt like I couldn’t take just one more minute without seeing him.

But if I’m even more honest, at some point, I stopped breaking the speed limit. I stopped being excited to see him. Instead, I started looking forward to seeing him—so I didn’t have to be alone with the kids for one more minute.

Nine years later, love looks like driving (at a reasonable speed) three miles to the barn with three kids in tow. All so we can spend time together as a family, and also, so I can pass him a toddler and say, “tag you’re it.” (Even if for just five minutes.) And to see the calves, of course.

My boots are covered in mud and manure; the fancy new shine is gone.

But that doesn’t mean the love is gone. The butterflies are still there, but they pop up in new ways. When I see the way he looks at Nora when she says a new word, how he patiently brushes the girls’ hair, and the way he kneels beside Rhett’s desk every night to help him with his homework. Or after a long day in the barn when everyone craves his attention, and he says, “Kids, wait your turn. Let your mom talk first.”

Our love is comfortable and worn in—like my boots.

We’ve chosen each other and this life. And that means something—more than happy hour and dinner alone. (Not that those things aren’t great too.)

I know the shine is still there, but in this season, I have to remember to look for it in different ways.

//

Originally posted on my Instagram, but I wanted it to have a home here.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Judy R February 14, 2022 at 9:42 am

    Beautifully said, Stacy! Happy Valentines Day to you and your sweet family! ❤️❤️

    • Reply Stacy Bronec February 14, 2022 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you, Judy! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!

  • Reply Cara Stolen February 14, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    I love this, and really, really get it.

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