Tuesday, June 19, 2018

On love and time and the places in between

Dear Mr. Hive,

I bet when you married me twenty years ago, you never thought that someday you'd have a secret identity on the internet. (insert maniacal laughter here)

If I was going to make a list of all the things we never saw coming, this would be a very long post indeed.

Life hasn't exactly worked out the way we thought it would, has it?

There are parts of me that still remembers what it was like back then, when we were young and clueless, when we honestly thought that love and optimism were all we needed. We had all these amazing plans, plans that involved successful careers and loan repayment, that involved world travel and someday buying a little house by the beach, that would eventually include two kids.

And here we are, all those years later. Loans are nowhere near paid off, and you're back in school again. We haven't left the country since before the kids were born, never getting off of this particular continent. We live in the middle of the country with a mountain view now, about as far as we could possibly have gotten from the beach. And then there is the matter of those kids. There aren't just two of them, not by a long shot.

Plans were great, I guess. But life told us that we were young and clueless and that things needed to change again and again and again.

It wasn't just fate that intervened, of course. There were choices along the way. Some good, some terrible, none without consequences, every one of which changed our trajectory just a little bit more until we arrived where we are now.

If someone would have told us 20 years ago that we'd be in Colorado with 5 kids and 3 dogs and a cat, that you'd still be in school, that our oldest kid would be a high school Senior, I know I wouldn't have believed it. Well, maybe the dog thing. I might have believed that part...

When we were talking about our anniversary plans a few days ago, I mentioned not needing a fancy dinner, and it is true. I've never needed those things that society tells us we are supposed to do and have to mark these moments of importance. The jewelry, the flowers, the trips, the extravagant things.

All I ever wanted was you. Us.

There were times that I wasn't sure we'd get here, but we did. We're still here, still digging in deep and fighting for our family. This year has been a tough one, putting us all through more things we never could have anticipated, testing our resolve as parents more than anything else.

I've needed you to be the soft place to land, and you have been.

What we have isn't perfect. It's messy. It is complicated. It's sticky. It's a constant work in progress.

It's texting each other about vacuum cleaners and the panicked look on your face when we have to find $500 to take the dog to the 24 hour vet.

It's spending holidays ripping out carpet and building fireplace mantels and entertaining my crazy DIY tendencies.

It's dinners around a beat up table with a kid in his underpants where someone is singing and someone is whining.

It's going out to dinner for a break from them and being seated next to a family with 4 young kids and remembering what it was like when we were there.

It's inside jokes and nicknames and replaying the same home videos over and over again.

It's building proton packs with all the hot glue guns we can find.

It's sharing the things we love with the kids and having the chance to watch them do the things they love, whether it is on a stage or a soccer field or triathlon course or arena floor.

It's working bingo and fundraising so they can do all those things they love.

Here is loud. Here is chaos. Here is conflict. Here is worry.

And here is pretty amazing.

I love you.

(you know)

Happy anniversary.

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