My husband and I went to the same high school. He was the hippie looking dude with long hair who was two years older than me that I admired from afar, and I vividly remember meeting him for the first time at a party the summer before my sophomore year. I remember what I said to him, his reaction, how it was one of those perfect August nights when you catch a whiff of Fall in the air, all of it. I’m sure he remembers none of this. If you would have told me then (in 1995) that I would marry that boy 12 years later and we would eventually have four children, I probably would have spit out the Zima I was illegally imbibing. (NOTE: I DO NOT CONDONE UNDERAGE DRINKING. Sometimes we do dumb stuff when we’re teenagers. I’m just telling the story.) Nothing ever came of that encounter. He graduated from high school, went to college and I never saw him again. Until…
2003. I was living in our hometown during one of my many breaks from college, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and he was home on Spring Break from law school. I walked into a local bar (legally, this time) with a group of friends and immediately spotted him at the bar. I swear our eyes connected for a minute, like, “I remember you!” One of my guy friends who knew him was talking to him at the bar, so I made up some silly excuse to insert myself into their conversation. One thing led to another, and we ended up talking at the bar all night. The rest is history.
A first date, a long distance relationship, cohabitating, a move to New York City, a proposal, an engagement, a wedding, our first home, our first baby, then babybabybaby… that’s kind of how our relationship progressed over the course of 14 years. FOURTEEN YEARS. That sounds like an eternity, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.
We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are times when marriage is super challenging, especially when you add babies to the mix. There are times when you’re too exhausted to have a meaningful conversation or even feign interest in hearing about the other person’s day. There are times when stupid little things like his laundry always being inside out make you want to scream because your laundry load has quadrupled since having babies and AS IF you have the time to flip all his laundry the right way when you just changed three diapers and have to clean vomit off the rug (#hormones). There are times when all you desperately want is a few minutes to be alone. But, we’ve been lucky enough to have built a solid foundation over the years to get us through any rough patches we may have encountered (or have yet to encounter). We’re invested in one another. We love each other. We’re a united team dedicated to make it work and live our best life as a family.
So you’re probably wondering where the whole title of this post fits in. I’m getting there. I just felt like I had to give a little background, which was probably a total snoozefest for most of you. You know how some people can’t stand listening to other people talk about the dream they had last night? I’m sure people probably feel the same way about love stories too. But hey, I just laid it all out there. So, yeah, title of this post. We’re celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary in just a couple weeks, but it’s something that kind of snuck up on us, you know, being busy with life and four boys and all. I think one day we kinda looked over at each other and were like, “Holy shit, is this our ten year?!” It’s not something we have planned for, despite the conversation we had while on our honeymoon in Mexico that went something like this:
“This place is so amazing. Ten days here is not enough.”
“We’ll totally come back.”
“Let’s come back for our ten year anniversary!”
“Done. Another Pacifico, please!”
Do you think we booked flights or the same hotel? Sadly, no.
I have a dirty little secret to admit: we’ve never spent a night alone in the eight years since having children. Never gone away just the two of us. I know that probably sounds pretty depressing and I know it’s important to continue to work on your relationship as husband and wife, but I have a serious thing about leaving the kids. My husband does too, although probably not to the extreme that I do. Part of it is because one of our sons has a nut allergy, and so the thought of leaving him with someone scares the shit out of me, to be honest. Also, I am kind of deathly afraid of flying, so I can find any excuse in the book to avoid it. So instead, I plan on meeting my husband in the city after he’s done with work on the night of our anniversary for a tour of some of our old apartments and haunts. A ten year anniversary trip down memory lane, if you will. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.
So does it make me a little sad that we didn’t follow through on our promise to return to paradise for our ten year anniversary and that we won’t get to enjoy a few days alone together where we dipped our toes in the ocean for the first time as husband and wife? Yeah, it totally does, but I’m also happy celebrating this milestone in simple ways. We don’t need to be fussed over, showered with gifts or flown to our honeymoon spot to know we have something kinda special. And maybe one night soon we’ll escape to the city for a full night away. Baby steps.