10 years ago I wore a beautiful dress and my hair was pinned up perfectly. I had makeup applied that while it looked great, made me feel a bit not like myself. I had watched every person in the wedding party walk down the aisle and it was my turn. You were crying at the end of the aisle. Our two year old had just greeted you with a hug when he arrived to where I was headed. He wrapped his little arms around your legs and you leaned over and kissed his head. His hug made it seem like he hadn’t seen you for days. My Dad gave you my hand in the very ceremonious way people had grown accustomed to. It was as if I hadn’t already had a life with you for the last few years. As if I hadn’t moved out of his house three years earlier and in with you to take on the role of parenthood.
Our marriage was just going to be a piece of paper at this point. This wedding was going to make it “official”. I would officially be a wife and you a husband, but they were roles we were already playing. We had the house with a leaky roof, the bills, the plastic ware without matching lids, the fights, the stress and even the kid. All things people usually tackle after standing hand in hand at the end of the aisle, but that wasn’t our story.
In ten years, I have realized how naive I was to think our marriage was a piece of paper. It’s so much more than that.
Our marriage is full of vulnerability. It’s helping me down into a bathtub for the first time in a week because I injured my leg so terribly I couldn’t even attempt to do it on my own and standing in a shower was impossible. It was encouraging me to take the bath because the pity party had gone on long enough. It was washing my hair for me while I held myself steady.
Our marriage is full of joy. It’s seeing our children’s faces at Disney World and knowing how hard we worked to be able to make those smiles happen. It’s buying gifts for one another that you know are perfect and being excited to give them.
Our marriage is filled with the unknown, but just as much faith. At any given moment, one of us could be the weak one and the other strong. It’s knowing that the spiritual leader of our family changes with how hard Satan is personally fighting us. We know that we can’t let him win. We have to believe everyday his efforts will be futile and God’s love will be centered between us and make our life enough.
Our marriage is very scheduled. It’s needing 3 kids at three different places within minutes of each other, while one of us also needs to be at a practice and realizing the toddler also needs to be cared for in that time. It’s figuring how in the world we make that work.
Our marriage is full of fortitude. It was suffering a miscarriage and then just a year later welcoming identical twins. Both brought on their own challenges.
Our marriage is adventure. It’s spending our 10 year anniversary on a road trip so you can go to a casting call for “Survivor”. There is NO ONE I would rather adventure with than you. While Bowling Green, KY isn’t exactly the most romantic destination in the world, I know we’ll look back and smile at the fun we had. If you get casted and win a $1,000,000, that would make the trip that much more special. Just saying.
Our marriage is full of simplicity. There are times where it’s calm and easy to sit together. It’s watching a movie we have seen several times already, but still enjoying it. It’s knowing all the quotes to that episodes of “The Office”, but watching it anyway because I just hope that one part will make you laugh the way you do sometimes. The laugh that is more like a squeal, but it brings me joy and reminds me of you as a teenager.
Our marriage is confusing. It’s trying to figure out why someone is mad, how you can make them not mad, all the while not wanting to acknowledge that you and your actions are probably the reason they are mad. It’s choosing to love each other even when we don’t like each other and that is quite confusing.
Our marriage is loud. It’s taking turns yelling at the kid who won’t quit yelling. It’s hollering up the stairs that it’s dinner time because obviously walking up there is asking too much. It’s listening to the crash, bang, boom that a house filled with four boys who love playing the drums, pretending to be super heroes and dinosaurs, throwing football and rolling matchbox cars can bring.
Our marriage is full of dreams. We dream to someday have a weeklong honeymoon on a beach, which we didn’t have 10 years ago. We’ll get it someday! We dream to have Bengals season tickets. We dream to visit all the MLB stadiums. We dream for all of our kids to achieve greatness and fall in love with someone who will challenge and encourage them. We dream to see the world by traveling. Europe first though, then we’ll visit the Asian countries you want to see! 😉
Mostly, and above all else, I personally just dream to make it! I dream that I’ll look back in 50 years and smile at the old, wrinkly gray man who stole my heart at 15. I dream that every challenge is met together. I dream of taking pictures with you and our boys before they go to prom. I dream that someday I can hold your hand walking into a hospital to meet our first grandchild.
The truth is almost all my dreams surround my marriage to you. I have spent more of my yesterdays with you than not. The way I look at it dreams are just dreams. However, if I get to spend the rest of my tomorrow’s with you, that will quite frankly, be enough.
I was a fool to think ten years ago that our marriage was just a piece of paper. Again, it’s so much more than that. It morphs into different and new things everyday. For the last ten years and for all the years ahead… Thanks Bobby. I love you.