Happy Anniversary to my Down-to-Earth Bride

by on May.31, 2009, under About Me, family, parenthood

Rise and shine – it is the dawn of a new day!  At least the sun is technically on its way up.  I’d like to have slept later, but my 2-year-old son scrambling up the stairs to my room prevent that from happening … much like my responsibilities 12 years ago.  I had to be up at the crack of dawn to drive all the way to the church to drop off the license and stop at the soon-to-be-in-laws to drop something off for my fiancee before heading out with the guys to get our tuxes.  Upon returning to my apartment (almost all my groomsmen slept at my place), I have to practically jump on each of them to get them into gear … much as my son is now jumping on me – but only long enough to get over me and snuggle in-between my wife and I.  He is all smiles and fully recharged ready to take on the world.  We take him downstairs and get him some milk and something to eat and veg out on the couch while he watches a show with breakfast.

Later, his 5-year-old sister makes her way out of her room and downstairs to join us.  Before she reaches the bottom there are already a series of questions such as ‘What is he watching?’, ‘Did he eat breakfast yet?’, ‘Do I have school today?’.  I’m barely awake and she is already in a rush to figure out what the day is going to bring … 12 years earlier I’m rushing – rushing from the mall to make it to the church on time.  I get there and get dressed in time to greet a few people arriving early only to be nearly knocked off the sidewalk by my future in-laws pulling up barking for me to get inside as the bride is almost here (which is odd since it is at least a half-hour until the wedding is supposed to start).  So I and my second head inside and are cloistered to the priest’s office adjacent to the alter – as I jog up the aisle to get there, I notice the table in front of the alter has a tapestry hanging from it with a fish in the middle.  While waiting impatiently in the office, the weight of this day starts to hit me … now the weight of my son sitting on my chest starts to wear on my patience so I suggest some breakfast and get to making something (though mostly a mess).

After an enjoyable breakfast (with its share of distractions and escape attempts) and some much needed coffee, my wife and I start thinking about what we should do … I do – that is what I plan to say, what I’ve been waiting to say.  And now with that moment just moments away I start to clam up a bit.  As I work on focusing myself, I remind myself that I’m not afraid of the marriage – I’m looking forward to that – but the wedding.  I’m marrying my best friend and confidante.  The anxiety and fear I feel are all about going out there in front of some 100+ people and trying to make it through an hour(ish) of loosely rehearsed ritual without looking like an idiot.  Focusing on the goal, I find some peace and calm and bottle up the anxiety for later.  And with that, the ceremony breezes by – it is funny how fast your own wedding seems in comparison to everyone else’s.  Other weddings seem to drag on … my son is dragging a chair across the room so that he can reach the lock on the door to go outside.

The weather is nice, so we let them out back to play for a while (give us some time to relax, maybe do some writing).  Occasionally there are some shouts about sharing the swing or where it is appropriate to dig, but generally they are having a good time … 12 years prior, people were having a good time at the reception.  After my new father-in-law did wedding party introductions (many of which were padded with their role in helping set up the keg for this event) and a very good buffet meal (made by Mennonites), we got to the dancing.  Our reception was about as cheap as they come – rented tent and tables in the in-laws’ back yard, buffet catered for $8 a plate, and music a la a borrowed 50-disc changer filled with our CD collection.  We had a list of about 50 songs to play, but every time got to about 20-22 songs into programming it, it would lose everything.  So we stopped at 20 and went with requests from there on (I think that “Bobby McGee” got played about 7 times) … after about the eighth time of telling the kids not to put dirt on the slide, we decide to move on to the rest of our plans for the day (and hide the shovels).  I give my wife her anniversary gift which she is surprised by and asks me how I paid for it (she is that practical).  I whisper into my daughter’s ear to tell her mom ‘happy anniversary’ and as she does with a big smile and then her brother parrots the sentiment and they both charge in to hug my wife, I know that there is no where that I’d rather be.

After twelve years, my wife is still my best friend in the world.  And the only love I’ve every felt that compares is what I feel for my two children.  I cannot imagine my life without my family and I plan to continue to enjoy their company for decades to come.  I can only hope that this past 12 years has simply been the dawn of a beautiful era of my life.

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