“Happy Anniversary” was yelled from across the room as we tag team caring for a feverish toddler and working from home. At least we didn’t entirely forget it this year as we have once in the past. I knew it was coming. I even made a reservation, a month from now, at a fancy restaurant downtown. It was a summer camp registration reminder that made me look at the date and remember that it was special.
All consumed with keeping two children alive it is hard to remember the days before this when there was time for us. Romance was something more than a hug in the kitchen, messy with dinner dishes. Support was more than a knowing look over a tantruming child. Dates were spur of the moment decisions to try to get a seat at one of the newer restaurants in town instead of reservations at 5:30pm at a restaurant no longer considered new and a $100 babysitter at home.
The usual anniversary testaments on social media say something like, “You are amazing. I am amazing, We are amazing together and it keeps getting better and better.” Well, you are (mostly) amazing. I am (mostly) amazing. We are (mostly) amazing together. It is pretty good but it is (often) not better and that is okay. It is different. We are real people and this is real life and I’m committed to keeping life real for the random people out there who might read this.
It’s not all a depressing story.
We love each other as much, if not more, than we have before. Each year we grow as our own person and watching someone grow and find who they really are is an amazing bonding experience. I’m proud of who you are. I’m proud of your strength, the challenges you have taken on to grow professionally and personally, your empathy, your creative personality and the amazing father you are. I know down to my core how proud you are of me. I’m secure that you support who I am and my personal growth. I know that you will nod along as I describe the next thing that I want to take on while gently reminding me that maaaaybe this isn’t the right time. You step up and take on stuff at home when I inevitably do the thing that I probably don’t have time for. (Trust me, I am working on saying no!) You are my shoulder to cry on and a confidant with good and practical advice. I’m so proud of all we have achieved together.
We laugh together every day. Usually at the absurdity of life right now. You’ve taught our children some of the goofiest things that they know. The things that make me giggle and make that ridiculous heart shape with my hands.
We still hold hands while we walk down the street on our rare dates. We cuddle on the couch while we binge watch the shows that everyone else watched two years ago. We bond over long conversations about podcasts, the thing you read on Twitter or the thing I heard on MPR.
Our marriage therapist says that we are really good together so that must mean we are doing something right. (If you are a random person reading this and want to know the secret to a good marriage: therapy. Individual and couples. Don’t wait until things are bad. They prevent the bad.)
And now the sappy part.
Eight crazy, crazy years of marriage! Where has time gone? Happy Anniversary! Thank you for all the good, the bad and the in-between. I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else. I’m proud of you, I’m proud of me, I’m proud of us and I love you.
Remember, its only 18 more years until we move to a two-bedroom condo in the North Loop where we will go to shows and eat at the new restaurants again and travel to all those places on our list.