My husband and I recently celebrated our tenth anniversary. We’ve had three kids, lived in four houses and three cities, and gone on too many adventures to mention. In some ways it feels like a long time, but in others a blink of an eye. My husband would say that I’m not a very sappy person, but this anniversary had me looking back on our time and how we have changed and grown. Things that once were a big deal have become what we laugh about now. Things that weren’t even on the radar in the beginning sometimes consume us now. How do we raise our kids to be good humans? How do we balance life and work and fun and organization? Where will we be in the next ten years? There are so many questions, but we have figured out some things in the last ten years.
This is what ten years is:
It’s the arm you grab on a rough flight.
It’s the listening ear when you’ve had a bad day, and the person that reminds you you might be taking it all a teeny bit too seriously.
It’s the laughter you share when your one-year-old poops in the tub.
It’s the hand you hold when your dad has quadruple bypass surgery.
It’s realizing your house is just never going to be clean, the basement isn’t going to get organized, and those bathroom drawers will always overflow with hotel shampoo samples.
It’s riding in the car coming up with our big inventions and ideas while the kids watch DVDs on road trips.
It’s rolling over after a long day and just falling asleep.
It’s the reality check when you’re a little out of line.
It’s not thinking twice about wearing ripped elastic granny panties.
It’s realizing sometimes that you are two totally different people with very different personalities who handle things completely differently, and that you are totally ok with that and usually have each other figured out.
It’s getting dressed up and having a date night just the two of you.
It’s being on that date night and realizing you spent most of your time at the restaurant listening to the first date conversation at the table next to you and filing away all the little things you’ll laugh about in the car later.
It’s snuggles in bed in a pile with your kids at the end of a long day and listening to them argue over who lies where.
It’s stressing over where you spend holidays because you love your families and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and ending up hurting each other’s feelings.
It’s unloading the dishwasher and taking out the trash, which shows your love more than flowers.
It’s ten rainy days in a row and feeling like you want to pull your hair out.
It’s each kid getting sick one after the other.
It’s overdrafting your checking account.
It’s the person that lies beside you after a rough day, and knowing that is just enough.
It’s shooting a glance at each other when something is funny in a way only he would appreciate and being able to share it with your eyes.
It’s the shoulder you cry on when your mom loses her fight with glioblastoma.
It’s having a day in which you can’t talk to each other, then remembering what it’s all about when you wake up the next day.
It’s having a bad dream about the other person and waking up and being angry with them even though you know it isn’t real.
It’s a favorite song that takes you straight to a happy time, and looking at each other knowing that exact moment is shared.
It’s when you get puked on by your sick kid and your instinct is to reach out and catch it.
It’s trying to make a budget and totally screwing it up.
It’s looking at your three kids and thinking how did we do this and how are they so amazing in spite of all of our parenting fails?
It’s the first time you go to a new place together or try a new restaurant, and feel like you’ve made a little secret discovery.
It’s riding in the car with the windows down singing with the kids at the top of your lungs.
It’s moving to a new city and making new friends together, but spending the first few months counting on each other and feeling super lonely.
It’s the million inside jokes you have that you can reference with one word and laugh together without explaining.
It’s the gas pumping, car door opening, and getting taken out to dinner still feeling sweet and special.
It’s stepping in when you’re being a little too hard on the kids.
It’s a mini falling apart, tearful meltdown a few weeks after having a baby and having someone there to hug you and remind you everything will be ok.
It’s the “that’s what she said” moments.
It’s sitting in bed together while he watches the Walking Dead even though you don’t even like it.
It’s appreciating how much I love my family and being happy to spend a lot (LOT) of quality time together.
It’s traveling and learning to laugh about being stuck on the side of the road together with a flat tire.
It’s listening to something your oldest child says and thinking, “Oh my gosh, you are so much like your dad!”
It’s when all the best plans you made don’t work out, and you look at each other and decide to have fun anyway.
It’s stepping in pee drips in the middle of the night and balls of hair in the shower.
It’s trying to make couple friends and not always jiving with one person or the other.
It’s a nudge in the bed to stop the snoring.
It’s ear hairs and grey hairs and varicose veins and dark circles and weight gain.
It’s the one person telling you you can do it and that they believe in you in a sea of doubt.
It’s feeling unappreciated one minute, to being reminded why you love them the next.
It’s the stupid dripping kitchen sink and the cabinet door that doesn’t shut right.
It’s being so tired in the middle of the night with a newborn baby you that feel like you could die.
It’s fad diets and not sticking with the plan, bad hair days, and ugly outfits.
It’s saying things you wish you could take back.
It’s learning what makes each other angry…and sometimes doing that on purpose.
It’s figuring out what makes each other happy…and sometimes doing that on purpose.
It’s being bored and annoyed and temporarily hating each other’s guts for no reason on occasion.
It’s the way you look at a wrecked body after having three kids in the same way you looked at that body on your wedding night.
It’s a week of tired monotony and still saying, “Good night; I love you.”
It’s realizing love feels more like your favorite pair of blue jeans and less like a lightning strike.
It’s the way you know each other so well your words can cut you like a knife or build each other up like no one else can.
It’s going from, “How are we going to do this together?” to “How did I ever do this without you?”
It’s bad times and good times.
It’s thick and thin.
It’s better or worse.
It’s all the ugly and all the beautiful.
It’s worth every heart flutter and every tear, each child we’ve brought into the world, each adventure we’ve been on, each sad time and happy time, the tear wiping and hand holding, and oh so many laughs.