It’s been six amazing years together as a married couple. Six years ago we were all aflutter and said “I do’s” and danced with this band playing in our front yard until the stars wore out. We ate & laughed with over three hundred friends and I almost didn’t get a piece of my wedding cake but for 10pm quick slip to the kitchen. Friends & family who were there have died since, and new friends have been born. It was the most fun and thrilling day of my life. Hands down.
But really. We had no clue what it would be like. Because no one does. We knew we wanted to experience life together. And we certainly have. I love him more deeply–by about a billion–since that day, but specifically more betterer for six simple reasons (and enjoy a few blurry pre-baby pics):
1) He encourages me to do completely frivolous things, like blog, because they make me happy.
He will take photos of me for my blog, like, while holding the baby and juggling the toddler and pitching with the big boy. He will encourage me to invest money, time, energy, into this nebulous space that holds a hunk of my sanity and heart swirled around, this blog. He will listen to me wax and wain about it, and whine too. He’s my biggest cheerleader and happiest reader (he reads it for the photos, just like my mom does). He genuinely has never complained about the time I spend here, or viewed the joy I’ve derived from it as competition to joy in real life. I like; he likes.
He has also never asked me if I think I have too much fabric. Wise man.
2) He is naturally a holy dude.
And I want to be more spiritually connected watching him. The way he prays daily prayers, the way he loves lighting a candle to read the Bible at night, the way he encourages our kids to engage all their senses praying: icons, candles, incense, the works (mama’s like Now I Lay Me and GO TO SLEEP NOW).
I didn’t fully appreciate the richness of his spirituality before these years of watching him live it out. Treat others whom I would ream out with kindness. Embrace and accept people whom no one else wants to. Sacrifice his own desires for his family when all I want is hot cocoa yesterday.
I finally even know that his favorite gifts (not being a gift person) are beautiful religious books or art or the gift of time to go to adoration, or to be able to simply read at night while I man the helm of the ship called Get Out of Your Room Again and You Will Lose Every Single Baseball Card We Own and That’s 100,000,000 of Them.
I scoffed at little altars in people’s houses before becoming more spiritually attuned watching him. I fancied them an odd thing. Sorry, I was obviously immaturely judging. I set one little one in our room now with a relic of Saint Therese and a candle my friend Sarah made and a triptych. It’s soothing and peaceful and something I never would have appreciated on my own. A little place to say, Come and be present to God with all your senses, right here.
3) He lets me sleep in on weekend mornings.
The man who gets up very early every day of the week, he gets up with the kiddos and lets me slide back into a comfy pre-breakfast dream about bacon. The very bacon he’s usually frying up for me down in the kitchen.
4) He accepts me as I am.
The chocolate cravings, the irrational demands for chocolate, the vacillating emotions about any given topic, the need to process immediately upon incident, the ferocity of loyalty to those I love and the simultaneous pangs of discontent when anything feels “off” with those I love, see, e.g., earlier statement re: processing, my inability to finish a cup of tea, my desire to cup a cup of tea in my hands, my insuppressible movement and flurry of activity, my big raw open heart on my sleeve.
The more we go into our lives together, the more I see my faults and failures glaring me in the eyeballs and the more he loves me. It makes no sense.
5) He’s an A+ dad.
And the kids chose him over me at any hot second they can, so that’s living proof he’s amazing. Or I’m really that undesirable ;)
6) He’s stoic and handles stress well.
We fell in love over working together on the Law Review journal, which is one of those law school things that’s really hard and grueling, yadyahda. Clearly it has nothing on late-night parenting of tiny human beings, but at the time we thought we were really tough for enduring read-alouds together (yes, the Bromberg one, ASMOL friends, the Bromberg one–10 binder source collect). I figured it was a good sign for future parenting.
But I couldn’t have imagined how hardy a person would have to be to help care for babies all throughout the night, and then be at work 10-12 hours thinking analytically about hard legal stuff, and then return to the nest for swarming buzzes aka meltdowns, teething, and tot & wifey angst for hours before snatching a few zzzzs and resuming the Groundhog’s Day wheel churning.
Not to deter you from becoming a parent, people on the fence! Simply the reality I’ve watched him embrace, thrive at, and still have room in his head and heart for me, for us, for our relationship through the really difficult circumstances of young married life.
Here we are, a little worse-looking perhaps, but overall, better for the wear. The baby looks quite askance at his siblings, though.
Here’s to many more years, my beloved. Thank you for choosing love and choosing me, over and over again.
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