There’s a lyric that goes, “Worked out that I’ve probably made a mistake for everything I’ve done right.” That would be me, though honestly? probably the scales lean even more toward the mistake side than the side of right.
Fourteen years ago today I did something really right though. Before we were four, or even three, we were two.
We got serious quickly, Tom and me. I can remember as if it were last week, standing in the hallway at his old house saying to him that I hoped we would be lucky enough to have kids, specifically to have boys, because the world needed more solid, decent men like him in it. That I couldn’t wait to make us a party of three. I was wearing my denim bib shortalls, a red tee underneath, and my pink “Life is Good” baseball cap (it was sixteen years ago, you can check your fashion files–it’s all good, yo).
I didn’t have to wait long for that at all. Sometimes dreams do come true.
At alternate turns, reality surpasses anything you could dream in your wildest imaginings. You never dream what fourteen years down the road looks like. You don’t dream that your kitchen window would remain uncased nearly a year after the kitchen remodel was “done.” You don’t dream of cleaning up the vomit your dopey rescue dog launched after he destroyed the carpeting back onto that same now un-carpeted spot. You don’t dream of seeing your spouse randomly in passing most nights between the shuffle of piano lessons, school activities, doctor appointments and baseball practices (and with your vision failing at every turn, you barely actually see anything anymore!). You surely don’t dream that your son gets tagged with a progressive, neurological disease, and you never dream that you become a reluctant advocate and fundraiser for MD, but you manage to help raise over $5,000.
But now? I couldn’t dream of any other life but this one (minus the dog vomit part, obviously, and the MD which still, yeah).
You do dream that your children become productive stewards unto the world, and you help them get there through volunteerism, service, and kindness. Check. You do dream that you can send your kid on his big class trip, and that he returns a changed young man. Check. You do dream that your kid who loves sports of all sorts blasts another homer over the fence, and that he is humble about that feat when his cleats return to stomp on home plate. Check. You dream that you have enough to give your children more than you believed you had at that same age. You float fuzzy visions that you’re happy, whatever happy means to you at the time. And you are.
You find just the right lyrics to capture how you feel on your fourteenth wedding anniversary:
We’re forever, you and me. The sun will show us where to go. Love will give us heart and soul, and take us home.
Home. Happy Anniversary to us.