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Feb 14

Eleven Years

It’s not a flashy anniversary.  And after eleven years, we’ve got a lot more in our lives together than just us.  We’ve got three kids to get up and fed and dressed, two to drop off at school, a toddler requiring care and attention.  Girls Scouts this afternoon and Boy Scout tonight.  Dinner will be fish sticks, brown rice and mixed veggies, and the kids will exist in a perpetual sugar high until they finally crash at night.  

But there’s incredible beauty there.  It’s the beauty that comes with waking up early and nursing your youngest child.  The one you named after your love, her middle name is a reminder of the promise he made as we were starting our family.  “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.”   

There is beauty when you kiss briefly in the kitchen, only to be interrupted by the toddler, who’s up far too early but appeased with little boxes of chocolates your husband bought the kids last night.  Thrilled by her treat, she immediately wakes the other two, showing them their chocolates.  You spend the morning getting clothes, starting laundry, unloading the dishwasher, serving breakfast and trying to remember where you put your coffee.  The coffee your husband fixed for you, as he does every morning.  There’s beauty in that.

There is beauty when your son, bouncing off of the sugar from his morning truffles, decides to have Daddy help him get dressed by hanging upside down and demanding that he yank his clothes off.  He’s a monkey, bouncing and delighted to have his Daddy home and with him, and secure in the family we’ve created.  

There is beauty in your oldest, the one who cemented your relationship in the first place.  Packing up her bag, and her cookies for class, her poster for girl scouts.  She’s so much like him, and so much like you.  There’s so much beauty in that.

There is beauty in the text messages, sweet voice mails and frequent phone calls that’ll go back and forth between us all day.  There is even more beauty in knowing that it’s not just because it’s today, we do it every day.  Ours is a relationship that exists in frequent and small contacts all day long.  It always has.  There is beauty in knowing that it always will.

Because that’s what eleven years means.  It’s not an accomplishment, it’s not a  victory that you’ve made it that long.  It’s an acknowledgement that this is your life, this is real and constant and something that’s as rock solid as it can be.  It’s the foundation for everything else, and everything else is more than you ever dreamed of.  There’s an incredible beauty in eleven years together, and I’m so grateful to be here today.

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