Yesterday, Spouse and I celebrated eighteen years of marriage. Wow – our marriage is an adult now! As must be usual on an anniversary, I mentally revisited our wedding day. Like so many other life-changing, significant events, the day is etched in my mind, even though it seemed to fly by, and in spite of the fact so much time has passed.
The Princess has asked about our wedding day, as any young girl will. She asked how I felt as I walked down that aisle towards Spouse. “Did you cry buckets, Mom?” No, I didn’t cry. I’d waited to find just the right person, and I was so ecstatically happy, I simply grinned from ear-to-ear. There’s a photo that shows my Daddy hardly holding it together as he walked with me, and then me, walking next to him, cheesy grin on my face, my eyes lit up. I didn’t know then how much work marriage would be, but I knew I’d been blessed with a man who would work just as much as I to build the life we both wanted. So, I didn’t cry. I didn’t need to cry. I wasn’t even really that nervous about it, other than I really didn’t want to trip on that long walk towards him.
Lots will happen over eighteen years. There’s a country song out right now that says it better than I ever could, “It All Started with a Beer” by Frankie Ballard. You see, we met in a big country bar (think Urban Cowboy). And yes, he bought me a beer. We danced, we talked, I told him I’d go out with him but I was NOT in the market for a boyfriend, at all. And yet, here we are, eighteen years later, three kids, a home, a life together. The song talks about good times and bad, times when money was a problem and times when it wasn’t, times when we’re getting along and times when we aren’t, but more good than bad, and we’re still here. We’ve moved more times than I care to recall, struggled with infertility, had job/career changes, learned what prematurity is and what it will do to a family, been handed miracles, struggled, fought, wondered if we would make it, battled financial troubles (along with the rest of the world it seems), cried, laughed, yelled, sighed. We’ve three gorgeous babies, a happy home, a good life.
If I’d known all this that day eighteen years ago, would I have cried? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I still smile when I think about him (most of the time), still smile when I remember that day, still feel the choice we made to create a life together was one of the best things I’ve ever done.