Fifteen years ago today, I woke up for the last time as just someone's daughter. Looked around the room I had grown up in, knowing I wouldn't be coming back to it again.
Fifteen years ago today, I was so nervous I couldn't eat. Was I doing the right thing? Was this really what I wanted? Oh God... was it really what YOU wanted? What if you decided it wasn't? Or if it was right now, what if it wasn't in a year? Two? Ten?? What if this wasn't the kind of "forever" I'd always imagined? What if it didn't stop snowing and no one could get there? What if I puked my way down the isle? What if the time came and one of us couldn't answer any of the questions?? OMG, what if someone actually stood up and objected?!?! Why couldn't I stop shaking at least long enough to put the damn mascara on?? And where the heck was my dad?? I couldn't do this without him, and he wasn't there, and I needed to go find him, but the stupid door wouldn't open............
..........At that point fifteen years ago, my best friend had to sit me down and remind me to breathe or I was going to pass out.
Everything went off with hardly a hitch. Oh sure, the ring pillow was dropped, but everyone thought it was cute. Yeah, I was crying, but everyone thought it was terribly romantic the way you reached up, cupped my face, and brushed my tears away with your thumbs. The nerves weren't bad enough to make the Unity Candle a risky idea. No one objected, and I think my brother even might have mumbled a "thank GOD she's gone" under his breath. And..... I remembered how to sign my new name with no hesitation!
And so began our lives together.
I haven't always liked you. I'm pretty sure you haven't always liked me, either. I still wish you wouldn't sleep with my pillow when you go to bed before me (you know I prefer the feel of nice, cool sheets), that you'd put the toilet seat down when you use it for the last time before going to bed (at least!), and that you'd put the new roll of paper on the roller and not just set it on top of the empty one. I know you wish I shaved my legs every day, didn't pick up a book every time I sat down, and that I'd actually enjoy cleaning, thereby doing it more often. And we won't even talk about your preferences on my cooking abilities! No, we might not have always liked each other, but I've never doubted we loved each other, and seeing that ring on your finger still makes me smile and get a bit teary, knowing what we've been through to get to this point.
We've begun raising two amazing boys, who -- God willing -- will become amazing men. I have watched you get more and more involved in their lives with each passing year, getting closer to them than you ever thought you would be. You have watched me learn how to co-parent with you, getting better at not controlling every aspect of everything you do with them.
We have learned to remember that we were friends, lovers and partners before we ever became parents. You offer me your reminders every day in little ways: my favorite candy bar when I've had a really trying day; silly text messages throughout the day; waiting until I sit down to begin eating dinner; sitting through Bill and Ted, The Lost Boys and American Idol with me. You might not do big gestures like sending me flowers, fancy dinners, or weekend getaways, but I never doubt that you love me more now than you did fifteen years ago today.
This has never just been MY marriage. Its OURS. And I've never felt more privileged or honored to be sharing it with you than I am today. You are the love of my life, and my very best friend.
Happy 15th anniversary, baby.
What'dya say we go for fifteen more?