My Dearest Boy,
Well, we made it to ten years.
Forgive me for lacking a sense of romance… but ten years just does not feel particularly remarkable. I mean, it is, of course. Ten years! A decade! I remember turning ten, feeling special pride in reaching double digits, that nice round number – 10. I remember turning twenty less well, but I bet you were there.
I’ve spent less than three decades on this planet. And I’ve spent one of them with you.
I really should be shouting from the rooftops.
But I’m just not there right now. I’m not in a rooftops shouting kind of place. First of all – I am sick. After nearly a year of staying disease-free (and bragging about it), I have succumbed to some sort of fever-y cold something. Today I cannot shout about anything. I can barely stand up long enough to do the dishes or ponder questions deeper than “can I take Nyquil yet?”
All germs aside, though, I will tell you where I am at with us. I am standing on the top of ten years and looking down. I can see how hard it has been these past ten years. Years of being young and stupid and careless with each other. Years of indecision and growth. Years of long distance. Moving across the country together. Deciding to get married and then doing it.
I can see Little You and Little Me, scrabbling up together, struggling. Most of the time happy, but always struggling.
Right now, in 2014, I am finally in a place where I can rest. With you.
I want very badly to say that marriage didn’t have anything to do with this. But I suspect that would be incorrect. Marriage was a place that we were headed and we’d been heading there for a long while. All of that struggle and climbing and hanging on was underneath our decision, and it is that history of pain and fun and hardship that helped us to trust and respect each other. Marriage didn’t put a shiny coat of paint over our history or our problems.
But it did something. I don’t know what, exactly yet. That’s the nice thing about marriage, I think; it means a lot, but you don’t have to know exactly what it means right away – maybe ever. It will be there, waiting, while you learn. Right now, it just feels like you marked off a big checkbox in my soul. And now that we’ve climbed a ten-year mountain, and now that box is checked, I can rest.
It only took me ten years.
I feel like this is an unnecessarily roundabout way of saying “I like hanging out with you.” But that’s where I’m at.
I’m glad that we met so many years ago, and glad that you liked me as much as I liked you. I’m glad that you wanted to stay with me, even when leaving would have been easier. Even when I wasn’t nice to you. I’m glad that we made it through this and that and the other thing and are finally here, on the other side, hanging out, resting, every day setting out anew together. I’m glad you married me, and I’m glad that we never have to get married again. I’m glad you read my book recommendations and then tell me about what’s going on in every chapter. I’m glad you like my family and like to travel and laugh at my jokes. I’m glad that you’ve treated me so tenderly while I’ve been sick, even though you had the same illness last week, and I’m pretty sure I remember saying something passive aggressive about doing the dishes at some point. I’m glad you are wearing the socks my mother knitted for me, the heels sitting somewhere in the middle of your foot. I’m glad that you climbed that mountain and checked my box and that you are you and you are here.