It's our 15th wedding anniversary today, and sitting here in this beautiful hotel room in Chicago, I can't help but think that I am the luckiest girl in the world to have my particular spouse... who is back in California minding after our home, our children, and his work.
I knew when I said yes to come to BlogHer this year, that my desire to be a part of the conference would put us apart on our anniversary, and though I asked Descartes if it was okay that I spend our family dollars for me to attend, I wasn't at all troubled by the fact that we would miss being together on the actual day of our anniversary.
And maybe that's why we are still a whole and functioning marriage after all these years? Maybe being able to roll with it, maybe that's how we will make it another 35 years after this, and perhaps meet the milestone that his parents just passed. And maybe we will make it several more years after that if there is enough good fortune for us to have each other then too.
I am respectful of milestones; they march us through time, and help us take note of how much has been accomplished, how much there is yet to be done, but I have learned over these years, of marriage and parenting, that it is more important that I mark each morning with thankfulness for a full house of health, for a roof over our heads, for milk in the fridge, and to be at peace each night with the comfort of knowing the head that lies next to mine spins its wheels with how to care for me, and our family, as much as it seeks rest from having put those plans into action.
Our marriage isn't balanced on one day a year with red roses and champagne, though I will probably drink some today anyway. If we held it all up for one day a year to be thankful, to show our love, to announce to the world how great our life is together, I doubt we'd have made it this far. Relying on one day to sustain you for 364 more is asking too much of one dinner date. And flowers cut from their vine don't last more than a week, so what then of the other 51? I told him from the beginning, I would rather you love me every day, than try to make up for it once a year.
I didn't worry about being gone for our anniversary because I know how much he loves me on any given Tuesday, or Thursday, or last week. He shows it in the way he calls on his way home from work, a gentle reminder that it may be nearing the dinner hour if I haven't yet thought about what to feed the masses. I can hear it in his messages to me, in the notes about jobs he thinks I might like, or places we should visit together, and in the swift reply, "Yes!" when we ask him to meet us at the park.
He puts away the ladder, the paint brush, the hammer, the duct tape, the everything-I-left-out, without berating me for walking away from an unfinished project, always giving me the benefit of the doubt, that something more urgent must have come up.
He let's me, be me, as loud and brassy as I often am, even as I am trying to be a little less dramatic. He draws out my humor and sets the stage for me, because he knows how I love to make people laugh.
We have inside jokes too complicated to explain, and share a dark humor, having waded through the piles of life we could not have anticipated. He accepts my need to plan for the worst, and for however often he has expected me to 'suck it up,' he has always held me when I needed it. He expects me to be strong, but knows when to put his hand at my back, and whisper, "Let's get you out of here." He chooses me to be a part of his adventures, and he fills our life with plenty of them.
He does the right thing, every time. Every. Time. And he is a good man--he is trustworthy, kind, and I've never met a child who didn't like him...and babies know about these things. He even eats leftovers.
He is a cornerstone.
I cannot predict our future; the possibilities ahead seem just as implausible as where we have been, but I know that I am thrilled to see his face when he walks through the door each evening, and melt when he wrestles our children amid a pile of pillows. I look forward to date night like it's the first time he's ever asked me out, and savor the feeling of being seated beside him in the car, undecided about where to go or what to do--As long as I am with him, everything else is going to work out just fine. It's true. Just watch.
It's more than I thought I'd have. For every young vision I had of my future, this part, my marriage, this man, it's more than I thought I'd have. More depth, more laughter, more big ideas, more feelings... it's more fun than I imagined.
Cheers to you my precious husband. Cheers to us, and what we've built and sustained. May we have so many more years together that we forget each other's names.
You can just call me "dear," and hold my hand.
You're my back bone.
You're my cornerstone.
You're my crutch when my legs stop moving.
You're my head start.
You're my rugged heart.
And long after you're gone, gone, gone.
I'll love you long after you're gone, gone, gone.
I'll love you long after you're gone, gone, gone.