atom & eve


Father’s Day. Traditionally a day with gifts of handmade cards, lawn equipment or BBQ tools. A day for the outdoors. What if, this year, for a gift you invited him back inside?

Not inside to the kitchen, living room or man cave. Not even into the bedroom. Invite him back inside your chemistry set.


Let’s rewind a few {cough, cough} years to high school chemistry class. No, don’t stop reading. This won’t hurt at all, I promise. As your chem teacher once said “In the beginning, there were atoms.” {which, technically were begat by quarks that were begat by strings, but that’s a genesis story for another time}. Atoms have a center called the….anyone? anyone? the nucleus. You are the nucleus in this scenario. Surrounding the nucleus are the…Bueller?…electrons. Now we’re not going to worry about probability or electron clouds, we’re going old school and sticking with electron shells.

Here’s the deal. Electron shells are like nesting dolls, one tucked inside the other. The first shell, closest to the nucleus, can only hold two electrons. The second shell can hold eight, the third 18 and so on. Now imagine that each shell is a layer of emotional intimacy. The people you hold closest, tell the most to, inhabit the inner shell. Next is the layer of good friends, then acquaintances.

And when we were falling in love? There was only room for our beloved and a BFF in the first shell. We barely interacted with our BFF, never mind any other electrons, we were so fully absorbed by The One in our innermost shell. We hardly went out, rarely even seeing any other electrons. Or if we did go, all we could talk about was our adorable, funny, handsome, smart inner electron.

But then…stuff happened. Moves. Kids. Jobs. Houses. Talk about health insurance and interest rates and college savings plans.

And now, here we are. There are all these other people inhabiting our shells. Our children. Face-to-face friends. FB friends. Extended and in-law family.

Your partner is still there…just… farther away. Sharing space in the third shell with 17 other people. When you have questions to ask or news to share, they aren’t always the first to know or hear. Sometimes, even, they never get asked, for opinions have been gathered and problems have been solved and we are ready to move on by day’s end. Without realizing it, the energy holding the two of you together has dissipated.

So for Father’s Day this year, use your magnetic charm and reel them back in to your inner shell. Make a date to stay up late talking about everything and nothing. {and, it turns out, by ‘late’ all you need is 10 minutes}. Make space to be vulnerable with each other again. Then do it again the next night. And the next. Be present and connect with your partner. every. single. day. Talk about real stuff- the ‘this is who I am’ stuff. The stuff you spent endless hours pouring from your hearts back when you fell in love. Yeaaaaahhhh. That stuff.

Because it may seem like the being is inconsequential to the doing, but who is picking up the kids after school or when is it time to buy a new refrigerator is the stuff. Who you are is the real.

Feel the chemistry. And keep me posted.



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