Monday, December 28, 2009

Candy and Iron: Six Years

Six year ago last week, I stayed up literally all night. I read a dumb kid's book (called, interestingly enough, Esperanza Rising) and I cried and shook and occassionally placed midnight calls seeking comfort from my fiance (who counseled me from the privacy of a hotel bathroom). I got up the next morning and, with a fear and trembling that is not done justice by that phrase, married my husband.

It turns out that he was the one who should have been afraid.

It seems to me that most people I know floated to their wedding day with high bliss and no fear. That used to make me feel bad, like I had missed out on one of life's momentous occassions and that there was something wrong with me--and perhaps even my marriage. I don't think that anymore, which is why I feel fine about placing this information on a public blog for strangers, former boyfriends or, more likely, just my husband and his family to read. I have since that time realized a few things about life decisions like this, the first being that I have never met a crossroads over which I couldn't agonize interminably (where to go to law school, whether to go on a mission, what to order at Rio Grande). The second is that deciding to whom you will tie yourself for the rest of your life and beyond is a scary decision and a leap of faith. I thought my husband and I had dated a long time and that I was a pretty mature and sophisticated woman when I agreed to marry him in 2003. In reality, I had known him a year and I was 26 when I said yes. Looking back on all of this, knowing now what I didn't appreciate then about the lack of wisdom a 26 year old bears, all that one doesn't know about a person one has dated for a mere 12 months, I realize that in the end I just got lucky.

I think I found the one guy who could handle me and love me without reserve or resentment through all the thick that I have slathered onto our relationship over the years. He is perfect for me.

We were looking at photos from a few years ago and were shocked at how much younger we looked and how different our lives were. The photos were only 3 years old, but back then we were really at the beginning of something that we now feel deep into: it was our first year of parenthood, Brigham was about to start his first career job, we were selling our first home. It was all just starting and we were still in our twenties. Just three years later, we are expecting our third boy, Brigham is in charge of his own cases and my oldest would be starting kindergarten next fall if his birthday were just 2 months earlier. Most startlingly, I am using wrinkle cream instead of acne lotion. It has been six years since we started out on this adventure together and like everything else in my life I am simultaneously shocked at how short a time that represents and how long. I cannot imagine my life any other way, and I don't want to. For me, who still receives (with some small stab in my heart) alumni mail from the three law schools at which I enrolled, that is really saying something.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the institution of marriage, now that we have entered the stage where more friends are announcing their divorces rather than their engagements, and maybe I will work up enough energy to spill my thoughts here sometime. But for now I will suffice it to say that I am so grateful to have a partner who is always on my side and there for me and our kids, with humor and competence. Brig, I am glad that we are still only at the very beginning of it all.

PS Brigham, I feel reassured, rather than threatened, by your promise that you will outlive me now that you have explained that the world is too full of complicated driving routes, missing articles of clothing and complicated electronic appliances/gadgets for me to be left on my own. So true. You can deal with getting sent to collection agencies over an unpaid $20 BMG bill by yourself.