There are many things I've learned over the last seventeen years. Things about myself, things about those closest to me, and things about life in general. For example, did you know that despite it being one of the most annoying things on the planet, you won't actually die if you have to fix the toothpaste tube because someone squeezed from the middle rather than from the end like rational people do? Even if you have to fix it Every. Stinkin'. Morning for seventeen years? That would be 6,205 mornings. That is a lot of mornings, yes. But you still won't die from doing it.
I've also learned that there are people out there who find an enormous amount of humor and enjoyment in doing things like changing the way the toilet paper will come off the roll (God really does want it to come off the top, not from the bottom. Trust me.), purposely reaching over and snagging your pillow for the sole purpose of heating it up knowing you prefer it nice and cool when you lay on it for the first time each night, and not adjusting the driver's seat of your vehicle back to your preferred settings after they've driven it.
I've also learned that no matter how many children you have, or how good you might be at parenting them, being a good parent does not equate with being a good spouse. So I've learned to never stop working at either job. I've learned that it's okay to hide in the bathroom with a book for thirty minutes, and that it's also okay to tell everyone else that they need to go be by themselves for thirty minutes.
I have learned that there is a lot of changes that can happen to a body in seventeen years, but that looking at someone through a love-covered lens enables you to see nothing but someone's heart. And that in seventeen years, those hearts are always evolving and growing with you.
In the past seventeen years, I've learned that his squeezing the tube of toothpaste wrong, warming up my pillow for me, switching the toilet paper direction and leaving my seat at his settings are things that won't change. And that's okay. Because I've learned that he's figured out that my hairspray overspray, unshaven legs for a week (and if we're being honest here? Sometimes a *bit* longer), my habit of leaving my recently finished books wherever I was sitting when I finished them and my apparent inability to cook anything that is not pasta very well are things that in all probability will never change about me.
We've learned that in seventeen years together, we're just where we most want to be. With the person we most want to be there with. We have learned that we're in this marriage together. We've learned that we're able to grow together into the people we want to be.
Seventeen years is a long time to be married. It's a long time to be committed to someone, confident beyond all doubt that you have spent the last seventeen years with exactly the RIGHT someone. But if we haven't learned any single other thing, we HAVE learned that we are EXACTLY the right someone for each other.
Happy 17th Anniversary, Coach. I adored you then, I've grown with you in the years since, and I love you absolutely, deeply and completely now.