Seven Years – No Itching
August 5th, 2013
Let’s be honest. I’m not great at anniversaries. I do alright at Christmas and birthdays, but when it comes to our anniversary, there’s usually not much hoopla.
This year was particularly mundane, I fear. I overlooked our special day in my meal-planning for the week and had us scheduled to eat something you didn’t like. Then I couldn’t switch my plan on the fly because nothing else was prepped or defrosted or remotely ready so we packed the kids into the car and went to Sonic for dinner.
But that’s married life, seven years and three kids later. And honestly, it suits me just fine. We’re in the trenches of parenting, my love, and romance sometimes gets lost in the frenzy of muddy shoes, bug bites that need cream, squabbles over toys, and a nursing baby. She’s a real mood-killer, that one.
Forget about a romantic dinner for two. I don’t think I showered today.
But I love you today more than I did seven years ago. I understand you more and I respect you more and I have seen every one of your positive qualities get amplified through fatherhood. You’re a rock star daddy and I’d have gone off the deep end for sure without you. (Then again, I probably wouldn’t have three kids under five without you either, but I digress.)
We’ve been partners for seven years now and it’s amazing how far we’ve come.
One year ago…We were settling in to country living. I was drunk on the wonder of it all, marveling at small town festivals and walking to the post office and lazy evenings sitting on the porch. You were at peace, breathing deep and digging in to a new congregation. Buggie and Miss Mouse acted like every cow they saw was the most amazing creature they had ever beheld.
Two years ago…We were up and down. I had made a job change that was long overdue and was flying high at my new job. But you were weighed down by a call that had run its course. Parenting in the city was losing its luster and a different life was calling to us. We just didn’t know it yet. But very soon, the phone would ring and a few minutes later, you’d pop your head into the den and speak the five words that changed our life: “How small is too small?”
Three years ago...Parenthood was looming once again as we prepared to welcome Buggie to the world. You were fearless. I was terrified. What did I know about siblings? But you held my hand as our son arrived and all I could do was sob: “I love you I love you I love you” – and I was talking to you both. I’d never seen anything as magical as the sight of you kissing his tiny perfect nose.
Four years ago...The baby fever was creeping in and we were starting to think about becoming a family of four. We got away, just the two of us, and cleared the baby fog from our brains for a week in Savannah. We rode bikes and visited book stores and quoted Forrest Gump and talked. About things other than diapers and ear tubes and when is that child ever going to sleep through the night?
Five years ago…I was chubby, you were rocking a great goatee, and we were bursting at the seams with love. And also with baby. Miss Mouse was getting ready to make her entrance. I’d started blogging again, the pregnancy helping me to find my voice. We wrote together, even composing posts from the point of view of the dog because that’s what you do when you’re young and in love and still have free time before you become parents.
Six years ago…I had a job I loved and you were working retail because you had a wife you loved who had a job she loved. We stayed in Pittsburgh so I could establish my resume and you waited patiently to follow your call to full-time ministry. A few months later, it came! You were excited about the church. I was excited about the house. The dog was excited about the deer in the backyard. You asked me every day if I was happy, and the answer was yes.
Seven years ago...it was hot and sticky in Pittsburgh and I stood with my sweeping white dress draped over a free-standing air-conditioning unit while waiting for the ceremony to start. I stuck my tongue out at you as I walked down the aisle to keep from tearing up. You told me later that my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I realized that our beloved professor based his homily on my least favorite verse in the entire Bible. We ate spaghetti at our wedding reception. It was the beginning. We were poised on the brink of the rest of our lives and what I remember most about that day is the laughter.