Friday, June 7, 2013

Ten Years of Life As We Know It

I sit here surrounded by mountains of boxes as it pours outside. The fridge is almost down to bare bones. The child is finishing up his last day of kindergarten. The other child, my sweet honorary 18 month-old niece, is asleep in the nursery that has still never been used for our own child as her parents travel to a wedding this weekend. I am glad she is here, the house feels fuller. Later, we will meet friends for lunch, say goodbye (again), go to J's doctor to get some adoption paperwork done and then meet different friends for dinner tonight to, you guessed it, say goodbye. My son and husband have a prior fun overnight engagement so I will sleep alone tonight. On my 10th wedding anniversary.

This is life. There will be no fireworks today or any fancy dinners out. There will be no dropping of the child at a distant grandparent's home to take a quick weekend away to celebrate. There will just be a quiet remembering, even in the midst of packing that 100th box and probably being cranky with each other or, for the first time in years, changing diapers, cutting up grapes into tiny pieces and wrestling into car seats. There's a quiet buzz in the air. 10 years.

I can remember those couples we met early on who were past the 5 year mark and thinking that they seemed like experts and now here we are at 10. Yet, we are clearly no experts. I can remember what we thought ten years would look and feel like and what we'd do to celebrate. Things generally don't turn out anything near what you expect, do they? Instead of flitting off to have a second honeymoon, we are in the midst of moving across the country. A different kind of adventure. I thought we'd be settled by now, in the house we would be in for the long haul with lots of (read 2 or 3) children around the house. But as I've grown up with this man, the excitement of his adventure has rubbed off on me. Settling, after all, is vastly overrated. I may not be moving to Wisconsin to pursue my own dream(since I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up), but it's definitely a chance to continue to explore, continue to figure what the dream even is. And, frankly, to do the figuring in much lower humidity. No small thing, my friends. No small thing.

But here is why we don't need the weekend getaway or fancy dinner tonight. Those are definitely perks, certainly fun and good and, hopefully, eventual celebrations to recognize this landmark. But for today to look like any other day, and to be, in fact, slightly more chaotic than usual with a second child in the house and too many events in our schedule on top of moving, gives us the chance to remember the day we said "we will" as we live out what 99% of this marriage thing actually looks like. Most if it isn't glamorous. Most of it is waking each day, choosing the "we will" for the 10,000th time, knowing that without God we'd make a huge mess of it anyway, confidently mucking through even the days that are filled with tension or anger or chaos because we've chosen to muck through it together, good or bad, settled or adventuring, whether we get to celebrate the big moments when they happen or not.

So, love, happy anniversary to you on this warm, rainy summer day. We were married on a day just like this in Richmond ten years ago, full of questions and hopes and knowing we were saying yes to the hardest thing we'd ever do. As we move into this new adventure, I can only dream of where we'll be ten years from now - it's all too uncertain. I can hope that maybe, just maybe, we'll get to go somewhere fantastic to celebrate that anniversary. But what I do know is this: I know that we will still be making that quiet choice each morning to turn towards each other and fight for the vows we made so long ago.

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