six years11:30 AM
It goes by so fast. That's all we could think of this year as we celebrated six years of marriage. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were still in college and passing each other notes. It seems like it was just yesterday that I entered papa bear's phone number in my flip phone for the first time. It seems like it was just yesterday that my maid of honor zipped me into my white dress... And yet it wasn't. There is a toddler still wearing her pajamas running around with her yellow taxi cab car around the house to prove it and a strong little boy in my belly kicking away as usual. There's papa bear's wedding suit we came across during the move that no longer fits and gray hairs and fine lines that underscore the fact that no, it really wasn't just yesterday.
There are memories good and bad (I like to call the bad ones "lessons") that will forever be seared into our minds that make up the puzzle that is our life together. We've seen a lot and done a lot over the course of six years together. We've moved four times, made two babies, had numerous jobs, grown a portly little dog, learned how to wield a drill (hooray! and thank you daddy for finally buying one for us and teaching us how to use it), dug each other out of snow banks during many a brutal winter at the cabin, learned patience and forgiveness, never forgotten how to laugh even when it seems like life isn't funny at all and accepted the facts that I will never finish what's in my glass whether it be diet coke or coffee and that papa bear will never make the bed properly.
Last year was the really "significant" anniversary - five years. But I think this year feels more significant to both of us. This spring really tested us in ways that we've never experienced before and we cleaved to each other more than ever before. When everything else falls apart and you only have each other it bonds you in a way that feels... well, sublime. No one will truly understand what we went through other than papa bear and the resilience, courage and wisdom that he showed during that time made me love and respect him on an even deeper level. And so looking back I only feel gratitude for that time.
I was having a conversation with a newly engaged loved one of mine and thinking back to those first years. They were tough, no doubt about it, but what made them tougher was that we had not yet formed the impenetrable team that we have now. When life tested us we suffered through it separately, often lashing out at each other in the process. We were on the windy and thorny path towards unity but we hadn't arrived yet and life frequently felt lonely and terrifying. And though life hasn't gotten any easier, in fact I would argue it's more stressful than it was back then, our bond and our deep understanding of each other's personalities and faults makes it easier to navigate those valleys.
We certainly don't have it all figured out and life is a never ending journey full of unexpected joy and sorrow but we are a little more patient, a little kinder, a bit wiser and a lot more understanding. And for that I am thankful. My hope is only that we continue growing learning and making wonderful memories together. Everything else is just irrelevant.