In the interest of trying not to overload with sap I am spreading out the October mush fest by a few days.
October has been a very special month in my life for the past 7 years (yes ‘uncle tuna’ if you are reading this I said ‘7’). October is the month my husband and I moved out of our families’ homes for the first time and made our first home together, that same October – the same week if I remember correctly – I completed my first marathon, and 4 years later on the 8th we were married.
The big moments have always seem to come for us in October. And on our first wedding anniversary, yet another big moment came when we welcomed our beautiful – and terribly overdue – daughter into the world.
Since the anniversary/birthday has become A’s day to shine, I thought it would be fair to spend a few minutes reflecting on the last 3 years of marriage and the 6 years that came before the wedding bells and baby carriage.
This is one of the first pictures I have of Brett and myself. I was still in high school. Hard to believe that we were ever that young together … or maybe it’s harder to believe that we aren’t still that young. Either way much has transpired since the day we met.
We graduated from the same high school and had several acquaintances in common but didn’t meet until he had already graduated. We were working at our local Target store and I just remember thinking he was funny and being drawn to him. Even then I couldn’t pin point what it was. His blue eyes were very different from the dark brown I often found myself attracted to and I knew nothing of his interests or hobbies but I was extremely bummed out when I had to decline a chance to hand out with him and his friends because I had to babysit. It was the end of his winter break and he would be going back to school, I figured that meant opportunity missed.
I had a sneaky friend who managed to get numbers exchanged and after several weeks of my actively pursuing him, we were on our first date. To this day I am not sure of 2 things – first, why I pushed so hard and second, why he wouldn’t return my calls.
I remember waiting for him in my car at IHOP – hey don’t judge, I bet you love pancakes too – and I was so nervous that I was about to pull out of the parking lot and leave him behind. Rude, I know, but I wasn’t sure what I was doing. He had asked me out but I had spent weeks calling him, leaving voicemails, etc. I was young so who knows what my ‘style’ really was, but I don’t think it is normally the one pursuing.
Before leaving dinner that night, I knew there was something special. Standing outside that cold february night, I didn’t want to get in my car to go home. He was smart, and funny, and interesting. By June he was telling me he loved me and by August I was telling my best friend that he was ‘the one’.
The first 2 years of our relationship were easy. I don’t think we fought about anything. Okay – we had one fight the summer before we moved in together on one of the very few vacations we have ever taken. To be fair, the issue was that I took a non-camper on a camping trip … a long hike and a leaky tent were the perfect recipe for an almost relationship ending blow up.
But as with anything, that first year of living together was hard. He squeezed (and maybe still does – thank goodness for his and her bathrooms) the toothpaste in the middle of the tube, dishes needed to be done right now, and laundry? The way he folds clothes will never make sense to me.
Most fights were minor but that first year ended with a major fight, boxes were packed and phone calls ignored. It still can’t remember what that fight was about but I do remember being more terrified that we were over than I was upset about whatever that fight was.
Fast forward past 3 apartments, a month living in his parents basement, buying a house, getting a dog, getting married, having a baby, bringing home a puppy, job changes, mess ups, an onslaught pregnancy emotions, and a sting of messy minor and not so minor fights and we have a lot to celebrate.
Sometimes the fact that we met so young and that our dating histories are so short will creep into my mind. I wonder if we really knew what we were doing but I also remember all of the memories we made together. Instead of hanging out with friends at the bars in our early 20’s, we were laying the foundation for a life time together. Cooking dinner at home, movie marathons, and fighting over the toothpaste tube squeeze procedure have been tedious, mind numbing exercises that have blossomed into a beautiful rich life.
In 3 short days we will celebrate the birth of our little girl. The celebration of her life will overshadow the anniversary of the day we celebrated the life we were building and committed to its future surrounded by our loved ones. And in a year that has had as many ups and downs as this one, it would be easy to let our anniversary live in the shadows.
Honey, I know I am not perfect. I know that there are things I could do better – or less – and I know there are times I forget to let you know how much I love your and appreciate you. Sometimes I probably forget to love you t all. But when I stood in front of our family and friends in that church almost 3 years ago, what I was really promising to you when I said for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad, was that I would fight for us. That I valued the life we built among everything else, that I would always try – even if only in my own way. With each passing year that becomes more true. This past year I have been reminded that when those big moments happen, you are the first person I want to share that with no matter how upset I may be with you. It’s those moments I know marrying you was the best decision I could have ever made. I love you, happy anniversary.