With my eyes struggling to stay half open after a night of the baby not liking to be more than a half a centimeter from my nipple, the almost four year old stretching out over half our bed, and the early riser 2 year old who likes to rise a couple hours before the sun, I answered my ringing phone.
Husband in a hushed, urgent voice: I need you to bring my iPad and computer to work.
Me: wait, you mean to tell me you want me to dress the three kids and me, get them in their car seats and drive somewhere?
Husband: um, ya you need to.
Me: mumbles swear words and try not go cry.
Husband: hangs up.
I pull the baby off my nipple and stomp around gathering clothes and something that I can appear to look somewhat sane in.
At least if I have to go out I can get a coffee I muse.
An hour later and a dose of caffeine in my blood my mind wanders. Tomorrow is our fifth anniversary. I know, do the math, 5 years 3 kids, it’s a frightening thought for many, I live it. I begin thinking how this is marriage. Dragging yourself to do something for your spouse, not because you want to, not because you think you are physically even able to, not even because you love them, but because in that moment they need you and you do it.
I was under no illusion when we got married that marriage wasn’t hard. I’d heard it and thought I understood it. You can’t love someone all the time, you definitely can’t like someone all the time. It’s really taken me 5 years and 3 kids to get it though. There are ups and there are lots of downs. Life happens, shitty things happen, really shitty things happen. Kids get sick, babies are up all night, there’s never enough money or time. You can go days, months, years thinking you married the best guy on the planet. You can go days, months, years wondering why you ever thought marriage was a good idea. But it’s the moments you decide to get up, brush the sleep from your eyes and be there for them over and over again that matter. It’s fighting and laughing 5 minutes later because what were you even fighting about? It’s about getting up with the kids so your husband can sleep for an hour. It’s about working two jobs so your wife can stay home. It’s a choice.
Marriage isn’t a wedding, a first dance, not even a first, fifth or fiftieth anniversary. Those just mark the time. Marriage is in the moments every day where you make the choice to be there.
So happy fifth anniversary Mark, I love you and glad you are my partner in this craziness of our life. But please remember your computer on Monday.