Wow. Last week I was thinking that our 18th wedding anniversary was still two weeks away because I couldn’t believe that it is already mid-January. I don’t know why that surprises me when I think about how time flies.
How is it possible that I met my husband on a blind date back in the 80s when I was only 18? Has he really known me that long?! The answer is yes and through many amazing ups and challenging downs, we celebrated 18 years of marriage, yesterday, January 16th, 2011.
To celebrate we did something unusual. We invited our kids to come enjoy our fancy dinner with us instead of hiring a babysitter. At 13 and 9 years old, we have gone from escaping little kids to enjoy a night out to longing for more time with our now big kids. These days they are busy bees with full schedules. They have also become older and very interesting children.
Don’t get me wrong. I adored having precious little babies with big fat rolls and rosy cheeks. But now when I see my son stand taller than me and watch my daughter ready herself daily without my help, I am reminded just how fleeting these days are.
When I ran the idea by my husband to invite the kids, he asked me if he could think about it. I agreed that considering whether or not we wanted our kids to crash our anniversary party of two was a good idea.
Later that day after we returned home from church, hubby told me that he would like the kids to come along to enjoy our special occasion dinner. He agreed with me that they might enjoy the ambience and fine food.
When we first invited them, they were unsure whether or not they wanted to go with Mom and Dad to a fancy joint. So, we left it up to them and after a while, they decided that they would like to accompany us to celebrate our 18th anniversary.
As we sat around the table enjoying each other’s conversation, I sat back, sipped my wine and took it all in. It is still amazing to me that our 18 years together have produced two pretty cool kiddos.
And it struck me that in the next 10 years, they would go out on their own and we would be done parenting kids at home. When we all had a toast, us with wine and them with Shirley Temples, I felt like I’d won the lottery. And I did because having our two jackpots join us for our celebration was the icing on the cake.
Both were very polite, well-behaved and interested in the menu and in our memories. It was pretty special. And it is kind of surreal that we have gone from booking baby sitters to booking time with our very busy kids.
So in reflecting on 18 years of marriage, I celebrate the two of us. And I long for the four of us to last as long as possible. The fruits of our marriage are blossoming and becoming young adults so quickly that at times, it really does take my breath away and leave a big lump in my throat.
I am grateful for the hard work, patience, forgiveness, laughs and lots of love that have gone into our 18 years. Marriage and family is hard work. No pain, no gain.
Last night as I sat with the three loves of my life, I felt gratitude and appreciation for another day that I get to be a wife who is treated well and a manic managed mom who is tired and crazed, but happy and fulfilled, too.
Happy Anniversary honey and thank you for two pretty wonderful kids, even if they do have to grow up and leave us in a few years. Thanks for letting them come along last night. We both agreed that their company enhanced the dinner.
God willing, we will have plenty of anniversaries with a party of two…and I will miss saying, “party of four please!”
Happy belated anniversary Rachel and John! Can’t believe I’ve known you pre-husband, kids, crazy schedules and fat Tucker.
I know! Isn’t it crazy how fast time goes by?! I also celebrate the anniversary of our friendship!
Congrats to the both of you. 18 years is a huge accomplishment in itself, having two wonderful kids on top of it is even more of a blessing. Glad that you all celebrated this milestone together and you are right only too soon it will be just the two of you again.