Well, this isn't about that, exactly.
This is better.
The sun was falling as we sat in a growing slice of shade from the cliff above us. Our table on the patio held a few drinks, a scattering of kids' paraphernalia, and empty spaces waiting for our food to be delivered. Thankfully, there was a generous breeze -- that and the cool stone wall at our backs kept us from noticing the summer evening's heat.
The girls wove themselves around and through a crowd of restaurant goers, many of whom were our own family, gathered for a birthday party. They giggled and dove and raced -- all acceptable activities at this outdoor patio.
In the seat across from me, I caught Justin's eye, and he winked. A crinkle of eye and curve of lip. A relaxed hand resting on the tabletop. A glance in the kids' direction and an appreciative shake of the head at their energy.
With the sunlight becoming filtered and relaxed, he looked like a celebrity, hiding away at a small-town outdoor grill to get away from it all.
But he wasn't. He sat at the table to get into it all: the family, the laughter, the winking, the relaxing, the completeness of a life with wife and kids.
This is romance, friends.
It is sometimes hurried and forgotten; it is sometimes caressed and sheltered; it is sometimes managed and scheduled; it is sometimes slow and simple; it is sometimes hilarious and easy; it is sometimes tender and tearful....