Yesterday J and I celebrated our 8th anniversary.
And by celebrated, I mean he left for work at 7am while I fed and corralled kids. He texted to let me know he’d made it safely to work as the big kids and I were breaking out our school books.
J arrived home that evening with barely enough time to spare a kiss while I ran out the door to get B to kempo practice – late, while J did lord knows what with the other two kids (they were working on the bathroom flooring when we returned from kempo).
He sliced cantaloupe for a bedtime snack while Miss H stalled doing math problems and we all discussed the importance of math in the every day world. Somewhere during all that J did ask me how I was doing, as my maternal grandmother isn’t doing well. Then we parted ways to conquer bedtimes; him with M and me with the bigs.
I finished first, but it’s always a gamble as to who will succeed with bedtime first. So I poured a glass of milk and crushed up Oreos and gourged myself while waiting for him. But it was past 8:30 and so we just talked about how tired we were while J washed the dinner dishes (because we don’t have a blasted dishwasher!).
Fifteen minutes in to talking about our day Sweet M woke up screaming because – teeth. And just a friendly PSA, teething doesn’t end in toddlerhood. My almost 6-year-old is currently teething hardcore with his 6-year-molars, as well.
So we went to bed with the baby and watched Dr. Quinn because after 8 years of married life I finally relented to allow a television in our room merely out of sleep conevenience; I like to sleep and he doesn’t. I like him nearby when I do sleep. I passed out cold while he rubbed my lower back.
That’s how we celebrated 8 years of marriage (and 11 years of friendship!).
No fancy dinner. No kid-free time. No gifts or cards or any acknowledgement outside of “Happy Anniversary” sometime during the morning hubbub of diaper changes and making oatmeal (he was changing the diaper, that’s 100% his job if he’s home).
Want to know something though?
I wouldn’t change it for the world.
And I’m not being superfluous or cliche or over the top lovey-dovey. I genuinely wouldn’t change it.
There will be anniversaries where we go on dates. Probably anniversaries where we go on long weekend trips or maybe even a legit vacation. Maybe even without kids.
But this is what we signed up for. This is what we planned 8 years ago when we said those vows.
We chose this life and the little lives we’ve created. We chose to put them first in this season, and then one another before our selves.
We chose to love each other through the monotony of life; to find the beauty in the mundane, because it truly is the most beautiful.
Marriage isn’t a fairy tale, even though I have a lot of moments and days where it truly feels like it. It’s a lot of beautiful moments where you smile at your partner as you wrestle your toddler into pants and when he kisses your forehead and tells you your beautiful when the bags under your eyes are so dark there is no concealer in the world that could mask it. It’s knowing he’s a phone call away when you you’re having a hard day. It’s when he rolls his eyes at you trying to paint a bathroom at 37 weeks pregnant and takes the roller from you when you can’t possibly finish without saying anything except “I love you.”
Our anniversary wasn’t a particular special day.
But our marriage? Our marriage is celebrated every single day by the little moments.
We’ve made it through 8 years of happily ever after in order to live and cherish the magic in the everyday ordinary. I’d say we got pretty lucky.