Five years ago today I married this handsome, smart, funny fellow on a beautiful beach. Fairytale stuff really.
And we had a great honeymoon.
Then all hell broke loose.
I changed jobs.
We endured a pregnancy that required heavy steroid use and over 60 doctor’s visits.
I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome.
We started an addition onto his wee little house.
We started going to dinner with a great group of saintly friends every week to keep ourselves grounded.
He designed (from scratch) a circuit board and software that allowed us make Christmas lights dance to music. He called it the Rudolph 16
He changed jobs. (He went to work in a HELL where the other wives at the Christmas party welcomed me to the widows’ club.)
My Dad had a stroke and died.
Our daughter was born premature and spent 12 days in the NICU. She came home with a pacemaker.
His Mom had a stroke.
Our daughter had 3 emergency surgeries and spent a few more weeks in the hospital.
We put 10,000 Christmas lights on our house.
That was the first year.
We lived through it. Learned a lot more about each other than we knew going in. Still together. Huddled and battered but standing.
Figured surely we would get a minute to breath?
Then I got pregnant with our son.
Enrolled in a clinical trial.
Bought a bigger house so we wouldn’t need to put him in the attic.
We went to Disney world with a nine month old.
Put 25,000 Christmas lights on our house.
Had our son and one epic case of postpartum insani… I mean depression.
And two wrecks. (And the damned insurance company still wouldn’t total the car.)
He kept working regular on-call weeks (1 on 3 off) where he might average 8 to 9 hours of sleep for the entire week followed by a week of being sick from sheer exhaustion. Nasty cycle.
Sold our old house
I started asking “Are we doing this right?”
He started answering. “Yes. Because we are doing the best we know how to do.”
That was the second year.
We lived through it. Still together. Hanging on the belief that we were good.
And for the most part we were.
As good as two people with two kids under two can be.
Especially when they take them to Disney World with their 10 year old niece and everyone gets a stomach bug.
And the lawnmower breaks twice. (Because Husquavarna is Swedish for crap.)
We did start a semi-sorta-regular geek game night at the house since it was hard to find a sitter. Oh the adventures and hours spent “hanging on the wall” that hath wrought.
And if we attempted to put 5000 more Christmas lights on the house…well.
That was year three. We had successfully made it through a year of marriage without another baby.
Still standing…with our hands around each other’s necks. (Just kidding. Maybe not really.)
Still learning more about the other than we knew going in. Learning that sometimes there are moments you might not like the person you love very much. But you still love them.
He changed jobs. I rescinded my membership in the work widows’ club.
I changed jobs.
We failed our quest to complete Beer Around the World and came back from Disneyworld two days early because my grandmother died.
I changed jobs again. Because well , Canada I like you but I Iike my kids more.
His Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
He lost all function of his hands for a week and was subsequently diagnosed with Lupus. Yes, Dr. House. This time it really was Lupus.
We added a few more Christmas Lights. And a dedicated power circuit.
That was year four. Standing.
Our house went diaper free.
I kept asking, “Are we doing this right?”
He kept saying, “Yes because we are doing the best we know how to do.”
We went to Disneyworld, Bibity Bobitied, completed our years long Beer Around the World quest and didn’t want to leave.
His Mom died. Even when you know it is coming, it still knocks you on your ass.
My grandmother passed away.
We found ourselves on the sidelines of soccer games, swim lessons, and dance rehearsals.
We finally crested the 40,000 Christmas light mountain and started planning for 50. He said “This is ridiculous.” I said, “Isn’t that our specialty?” He said, “Yes it is. Let’s do it.”
That was year five.
Still something…having lost the illusion that this thing was going to slow down.
Holding on for dear life screaming ‘Oh God, Oh God we are all going to die” maybe.
But still upright and above ground.
Now we head into year six. Which will have at least one pacemaker surgery and the start of Pre-K.
Still chugging. Still together.Still learning more about each other than we knew going in. Liking each other more days than not.
And if the last five years have taught me anything, it is that you are only as good as right now.
Who the f*ck knows what is going to happen next.
So right now I am good. Because this handsome, smart, funny man is standing next to me. And I know he will still be standing there whatever does happen next. He has my back. If he hasn’t had the sense to run away screaming yet… I mean seriously, a lesser man would have hidden his assets and disappeared by now.
We both feel pretty old most days. But here we stand. Still together. Still friends. Still laughing. Still squabbling over Wars or Trek. Still lamenting the sudden popularity of IPAs and that kids these days have no idea what good beer is.
Still planning our next trip to Disneyworld.
Whatever happens next…well there is no one else I would rather paddle with. Even if it is up sh*t creek. As long as there is a paddle. Seriously. A paddle dude. I need one. You know I’m talking to you husband. And you know why.
This fairy tale turned hand basket has been the best thing that ever happened to me.
Thanks for sharing it with me you crazy man.