A Letter in Honor of Anni-fathe-birthsery Week.

We’ve really done it now, Luke.

Not so long ago, we were imagining “The Future,” and trying to make the wisest decision we could about whether to include each other in our plans…

Now, suddenly, it’s here. We share a name, a bed, and a bank account.

And even if we were prepared to undo those things, we’ve created life. There are two human beings in the world that wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t stopped wondering and just jumped in, come what may, help us God.

We’re in deep!

I’ll confess: this has been nothing like I expected.
—-

There’s not much left of the boyfriend-girlfriend relationship we established over a decade ago.

This week, we’re celebrating the passage of time. Today—six years as a husband. Tomorrow—three years as a father. And next Saturday—twenty-seven years since your birth.

I think I’m supposed to say, “Time flies,” or something.  But I don’t feel that way.  What we’re measuring in years may as well have been different lifetimes. Was that really US, shyly holding hands and testing a little tongue, barely old enough to drive? Did WE talk about how weird/awesome/perfect it would be when we didn’t have to part company at the end of each night?

Was that yesterday or 100 years ago? Sometimes it seems like both.

Anyway, when I was pretty young, my mom made an impression on me with her description of marriage.  She said, “You don’t feel fluttery and excited forever…eventually, you start feeling more like brother and sister.”

That stuck with me because it completely grossed me out.  🙂

But now that we’ve been doing this for awhile, don’t you think she was right?  All of our major events include the other. We get along and make a great team sometimes. Other times we’re annoyed with each other.  But, for the most part, you’re just there.

A given.

Easy to take for granted.

We have very, very few things in common. I’m a talker; you’re a doer.   I’m high-strung; you’re easy-going.  I like staying inside and reading; you like going out and building.  In fact, I’ll have to make a point to tell you this letter is here, because I’m pretty sure you don’t even read my blog!   (It’s okay. I’m not terribly impressed by how shiny you can polish the Jeep, so we’re even.)

I’m just saying: if it weren’t for our stubborn determination to be part of each other’s lives, it would be very easy to…just…not.

Building our relationship is like a career.It’s a daily doing and sometimes drudgery. If we’re not careful, it just happens while we’re not paying attention. And before we realize it, we’ve become like the siblings who are just part of the family…nothing amazing.

Passion can be both flaming excitement and intense fury.  But our married life usually falls smack in between.  Sort of… boring.

Thankfully, one thing hasn’t changed: I always follow up a list of seemingly negative things with the silver lining.  None of this stuff means we’ve made a mistake. 

We agreed at the very beginning there’s no such thing as “the one.” We were prepared (as much as possible) for challenges and big changes and to keep pushing, past any temptation to believe there’s something better elsewhere.

We agreed we wouldn’t quit.

So, I’m thankful for this week, which is like a slap-in-the-face reminder to look around and see how far we’ve come. In November, people like to say, “Everyday should be Thanksgiving!” And maybe it should. But, until we learn to maintain the fiery sort of passion in the mundane day-to-day, it helps to have a special day for reminiscing.

This week, I have three chances to look at you with fresh eyes.

I’m thankful we have been doing life together long enough to take the other for granted, but you need to know you’re not “just” anything to me.  You’re more than a provider and appliance-fixer and sounding-board after a stressful day.  You’re the backbone. My stabilizer.

In fact, it’s precisely because I treat you like “a given” that I would be shocked and lost and damaged if you suddenly were gone.

Our love is very different than six years ago, which was a very different love from four years before that. But we’re doing it, Luke.  This is how a lifetime is built! We’re doing what we always planned to do…right now…

We’re in deep, but I’m not sorry. I want to see how far this thing can go–with all the frustrations and surprises and temptations notwithstanding. I want to know how close two souls can get.

Let’s keep moving toward that mysterious “Future” together, only looking back to enjoy the memories and high five.  Here’s to 75 more Anniv-Fathe-Birthsery weeks.

Always yours,

~ME~

P.S.  Just for the record, I started writing this before I found your poem this morning. This is not the response of a guilty conscience! (Other readers can see a copy of Luke’s poem here.)

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One thought on “A Letter in Honor of Anni-fathe-birthsery Week.

  1. Roberta Hite

    I laughed at loud when I read your mother’s comment about brother-and-sister. Cute. And it’s not wrong to take each other for granted every once in a while – it’s also called being trustworthy and faithful, I’ve read.

    Like

    Reply

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