Thirteen years ago this Saturday, I sat across from a skinny kid at a Whataburger somewhere between San Antonio and Austin and said these words while dipping Texas Toast into a puddle of white gravy,
“You know, we should really just go ahead and be a couple because if we don’t decide at some point to just say we are, then I’ll never have a one year anniversary, and I’ll never get a one year anniversary present. So what’s today? August 21st? Yeah, that’s our anniversary.”
A couple days later I flew back to Washington, DC, to start my senior year of college, and I didn’t see that skinny kid – my boyfriend who was away at graduate school – until his 21st birthday on our three month anniversary. By the next summer we were living together, only to be separated again when he moved back to Austin to complete his master’s and I moved to Philadelphia to begin mine. That December while visiting for the winter holidays, he got down on one knee in front of our friends and family, and just as the clock struck midnight on the 31st, he asked me to marry him.
Notice how I’m giddy and he’s terrified? It’s amazing what you can get yourself into while eating white gravy with a friend who’s flown in to visit you from the east coast…
Once again we went our separate ways, but in August of the next year, just as we were approaching our two year anniversary (more presents!), we moved into together, both back in DC, and began our lives together. One year later we were married in my parents’ church in Pennsylvania…and now somehow, inexplicably, ten more years have passed.
Today we are celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary. I cannot believe everything that we’ve shared and experienced in that ten years. With my husband’s unbelievable support and care we survived two very difficult pregnancies and are raising two amazingly incredible children. We’ve moved from that first apartment to a townhouse then a single family home and eventually the home we live in now. While he has continued at the same job for our entire marriage, he’s walked me through teaching in two schools, staying home with our children full time, and then launching a part time writing career that somehow has turned into a business. I could not have followed this path without him. In these ten years we’ve buried friends and relatives, and welcomed countless new lives as we’ve moved into this crazy stage of life called parenting. We’ve traveled all over the world separately from San Diego to Islamabad, and we’ve traveled together to Walt Disney World more times than I should probably admit. We have had amazing moments and moments of anger and sadness. But we’re still here.
Some days I cannot believe it has been ten years.
Other days it feels like so many more.
Either way, I’m glad that we had that conversation over a bowl of white gravy all those years ago. I’ve gotten so much more than that anniversary present I hoped for…