Eight years ago yesterday, Thomas and I said “I do.” Well, technically we never said those two words as we had written our own vows, not realizing the infamous “I do” wouldn’t still be included by the priest marrying us. I’m fairly sure, just moments after walking up the aisle with my new husband — tossed rose petals still in my decolletage — I panicked and then asked quizzically, “Wait — did we say “I do”?
A week later, on our Bermudian cruise, we renewed our still-fresh vows along with about 100 other couples likely betrothed much longer than seven days. But still, I was happy to have said, “I do.”
Several years later, Tom’s parents celebrated a milestone anniversary and we all ventured to Chicago where they renewed their vows in the very church they had said them decades ago. Their own siblings, as well as others who had stood up for them on their wedding day, were there to celebrate the moment.
At the end of the renewal, the priest called Tom’s parents’ five children and spouses up to renew their own vows as well in this beautiful old cathedral on the anniversary of their parents’ wedding.
Seems to me, at this point our vows are set in something darn-near stone.
Although yesterday we celebrated eight married years together, in two weeks, it will be 15 years since our very first date. Fifteen years. I was just 19 when we met and took weeks to muster the courage to ask him out. Until then, I’d been asked out or it had been a mutual decision to go out with someone — this was the first “boy” for whom I was brave enough, determined enough, smitten enough to make the first move.
Last night I arrived home from work to a large bouquet of 20 or so roses he had picked from our backyard garden and arranged himself, accented with large, green hosta leaves he’d clipped from the front garden. We then went out for dinner while Maeve played at home with her aunt and cousin.
Funny thing is, the entire Adult Dinner was spent talking about our little sassafrass Maevy Gravy. And her birth mother. And our upcoming visit. And how we want things to play out for our daughter and the life we are determined to provide her. For an evening free of cubed food, board books and sippy cups, she sure was with us: we laughed about her latest silliness, smiled over her juiciness, admired the outgoing personality that emerges more each day, and shook our heads in disbelief that she will be two in less than eight weeks.
Hours later, as we prepared for bed, I fell asleep before Tom ever made it into the bedroom from his readying-for-bed routine. Him setting his alarm and climbing in woke me up. I grumbled and mumbled something about being jostled from sleep. As I tried to rediscover slumberland, myriad thoughts of things to do, things to remember, and things to remember to do filled my mind.
In an effort to remove some of the To Do’s hijacking my brain, I reminded him about two phone calls he needed to make today. He stirred a bit, grumbled and then mumbled something about how now I had woken him.
Ah, how “old and married” we sounded.
Then he reached over and rested his hand on my back in what I knew was code for “Didn’t mean to grumble. Happy Anniversary, You.”
As I began to drift to sleep, I thought: So this is what us being in love for 15 years is like. I’m sure I was smiling.
Oh I do, baby, I do.