It was exactly five years ago when I married my beautiful Caroline. And I remember the day vividly. Every aspect of it. And, believe it or not, the thing that sticks out most isn’t the part where we said “I do.” Nor is it the reception. Or even that first night we spent as man and wife. Nope. The thing that sticks out is sitting with my soon-to-be stepdaughter in one of the church’s meeting rooms as I nervously pondered my future. It was all about to change, and I vowed that I’d be ready for whatever it was that would come my way. Yet try as I might, there was simply no way I could have ever imagined everything I was about to get.
I won’t bore you with some long list of them, as I don’t intend for this to come off as some sort of acceptance speech, but rather, instead as a 30,000-foot reflection laced with gratitude.
Caroline and I have been dealt some fairly extreme cards. But they’ve been good ones. And though our day-to-day lives have been difficult for the past year (or more!), the burdens are joyful. Yes. This can hard to remember during 3 am bottles, garden-variety meltdowns, and house-ruining antics.
it’s also impossible to forget.
In many ways it feels as if these years have been dog years, that there were actually 35 of them, what with the 17 years of combined parenting that went down and all the trials and tribulations that have come along with such exploits. Yet, also, it’s surprising how quickly these incredibly dense years have passed. Which makes me appreciate how quickly they’ll all pass, these child-rearing years, the ones that are comprised of countless precious and, yes, trying moments that we’re sometimes tempted to wish away.
Which is why we don’t. Wish them away, that is. Instead, we plow forward, ever hopeful we’re sufficiently thankful for all we’ve been given. And for me, that includes being thankful for you, Caroline. So incredibly thankful.
I’m not sure what the next five years holds. I just know that I’m spending them with you. And Alli. And Sam, Jack, Kirby and Luke. OH. And Briggs, assuming you don’t give his crazy ass away one day while I’m gone.
So Happy Anniversary, Caroline. I love you!
OH. And honey, when trying to figure out what I should get you for our anniversary, I learned that a traditional fifth-anniversary gift is wood. You know, since it’s strong and long lasting. So, wow. Not sure what that means your actual present will be, but whatever it is, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be sporting wood when I give it to you.
(Oh my. I am SO sorry, y’all. I tried incredibly hard to not write that. Yet I wrote it anyway and it’s just appalling. I’m gonna go back and delete it. No. No, wait. I’m not.)