August 3, 2009
As of today, Jared and I have been married for seven years. Sometimes I like to say "seven long years" and other times I prefer to call it "seven years of wedded bliss," but any way you slice it, we're not newlyweds any more.
And thank goodness for that, because let me tell you, our first two years were filled with all sorts of super immature college-aged dramatics. All sorts. But now, after seven years of paying our dues to the grown-up world, I think we've finally got the hang of this matrimony thing.
Every year on August 3rd, Jared and I sit down at our kitchen table and take a look at the year that's passed. We talk about what we did well, and the areas where we could use a little bit (or a hell of a lot) of work. We talk about high points and low points, and what's on the agenda for the upcoming 365.
For the past six years I've left the table, sweating buckets, thinking something like, "Phew, we survived another year. Hope this one gets easier." Or "Oh my word, I think I need to hibernate." But this year, I've got to say that we've experienced a major shift.
If you know me in real life, or if you've been following this website for any length of time, you've probably picked up on two things: 1) Motherhood comes very, very naturally to me, and 2) Marriage is an entirely different story.
Some might call our relationship feisty. Others would say it's manic. And then there's our marriage counselor (love him), who back in the fall of '07 said, "Well you guys definitely never need to worry about falling into the habit of being content. Your marriage has a lot of energy."
Well said, Shawn. Well said. Lots of fights, lots of love. Wash, rinse, repeat.
But over the course of this last year, year six, something miraculous happened. And no, I'm not saying that facetiously.
Year six had some very high highs, and some even lower lows:
Jared opened his own chiropractic office where we've already experienced quick success, quick drop offs, and long spots of not-a-whole-lot-of-change. (that's a high, a low and everything in between)
For the first time in the history of our relationship, we're earning a legitimate grown-up income. (most definitely a high)
Last year, on September 22nd, we lost a baby boy when I was eighteen weeks along. (can't even begin to explain how low)
And now we're expecting a baby girl in October. (high, high, high)
But here's where the miracle comes in: We're still together. And on top of that, we've had the most peaceful year yet.
All of the sudden, life is clear for us. We recognize, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the things that matter. We know what's worth fighting for and what's worth fighting about. We also know what's not worth our time, and usually (usually) we successfully ignore those things.
Last October, when the only two acts I could muster were popping Ativan and muttering the phrase "I think I want to die" over and over and over again, Jared was the only one who knew how to take care of me. Jared was the only reason I was able to gather up the strength to stay away from the liquor store--and that is absolutely not a joke.
Last February, when I was convinced we should close Jared's practice, he was the one who was wise enough to say, "Shut up, Amy. I'm not having this conversation until 2010."
Last May, he knew enough to listen to me when I bossily said, "Call her, Jared! Call that woman!" And bless his soul, after he made the call, my husband said, "Thanks, Amy. You were right." You. Were. Right.--those my friends, are the very sweetest words that any wife can hear.
And now, almost a year later, when I can't help but cry in the middle of the kitchen on a random Tuesday night, Jared rubs my head and reminds me that if I'm still crying about our lost baby when I'm ninety years old, wrinkly, and stuck in a nursing home bed, that's okay. Some things are worth the tears.
(But not cellulite--the man has absolutely no patience when I sob about the back of my thighs.)
This time last year, if you had asked me about my philosophy on marriage, I would have said, "Marriage is really, really hard."
But this year, I'd say something different. If you were to knock on my door, stick a microphone in my face, and say, "Amy, the world wants to know, what's your philosophy on marriage?" I would respond, without a pause, by saying, "Life is really, really hard. Thank God I have my marriage."
Got that? Life is really, really hard. Thank God I have my marriage.
Thank God for giving me Jared (who would never dream of not bringing home a lovely bunch of flowers on a night like tonight).
We're definitely not perfect, and heaven knows we'll never pretend to be--but we do know how to take care of each other, and in my opinion, that's huge.
And so are flowers.