My husband and I have been married for fourteen years. Because we got married quite young, we never really had the opportunity to give each other the traditional gifts that come with anniversaries. For many years, a heartfelt card, a rented movie and a bowl of shared popcorn were all we could afford to celebrate our years together.
Last year we splurged and cooked a nice dinner at home only to find out that for us, thirteen years was to be celebrated by my husband cleaning a potty accident out of the girls’ tub while I finished my filet alone.
This year, our fourteenth year as a married couple, was going to be different. I called one of the best babysitters in my arsenal. (Don’t be asking me for a name and number. I don’t know you like that.) A woman who never sits still– not only would my children be asleep when we got home but my house would be immaculate. We scheduled appointments for massages and made a dinner reservation, and looked forward to our date night all week long.
On Thursday morning, Aubrey, my oldest daughter, climbed into bed with me and literally scalded my skin she was so hot with fever.
“Honey do you feel okay?” I whispered in her ear.
“You know I get all sweaty when I sleep…” she mumbled, drifting off.
I grabbed a thermometer and confirmed what I already knew, 104 degrees.
Thirteen years was cold filets and floaters. Fourteen years turned out to be a round of Tamiflu for the whole family.
Aubrey spent several days on the couch being pampered and drinking ice cold Gatorade, while the rest of our family tried not to inhale near her.
I ran in slow motion screaming, “Noooooooooo!” as my middle child, Emma, picked up Aubrey’s drink and lifted it to her lips. I smacked the cup away from her hand, spraying Gatorade into the air and scaring her half to death.
“I’m sorry honey! But DO NOT drink after Aubrey!”
Taking the actual Tamiflu was no easy task either. Turns out that one of the side effects in children is vomiting and guess who won that lottery? Yup. We did.
Everyone was feeling well enough for Zeb and I to go on our big date Saturday and we were glad to get out of the house.
Being married is like being a parent in that you can never fully understand the depth of the relationship until you’ve been there. I’m sure there are people reading this that are laughing, “Fourteen years? That’s nothing! You just WAIT until it’s been forty!”
I appreciate my husband so much but most of the time I appreciate him as a provider, as a father, as a great roommate, as a handy man. Once you get married and have kids, it can be hard to keep a grasp on the person you married in the cast of characters your significant other becomes as your responsibilities grow.
I’m sure it’s hard at times for my husband to find the girl in me who once hopped on the back of his Harley and rode across the entire state of Texas. It’s hard to see that girl because she’s been pushed to the side so that the mommy in me can take over. The Mommy Me doesn’t have time for motorcycles, she’s too busy forcing meds down her kids’ throats and smacking tainted Gatorade out of their hands.
I realized this weekend that while I still love that boy I met on a blue 1976 Harley Davidson, that love pales in comparison to the love I have for the man and father he’s become. I love the teacher he is to our children, the rock of emotional steadiness he provides for our family and the fact that after fourteen years of marriage, he still lets me put my icy toes on his warm legs every night as we fall asleep— and that is an anniversary gift that keeps on giving.