As of today, Eric and I have been married for 26 years, which seems odd to me since there is no way I’m old enough for that. He is, but I’m not.
So, I started thinking about it. What has changed in 26 years of marriage? Some things are still the same, others are as different as night and day. Here are a few examples:
In the first year, he’d come home from work and say, “You look pretty!” Now we meet in the kitchen after work and he says, “You look beat.”
Now, we discuss upcoming plans like this – “Got anything going on tomorrow night?” “Not really.” Fifteen years ago, it was more like this – “What’s up tomorrow?” “Kid one has a dentist appointment, kid two needs to be picked up from play practice, and kid three accidentally set fire to his hair, so he really needs a trim. Oh, and the dog is out of food.”
Preparing for supper 10 years ago – “Hey, supper is ready. Someone set the table, please. Please! Silverware! Kid two, go tell your dad supper is ready. Fine, then tell your sister to tell him. Hey, quit tossing peas at your brother and set the bowl on the table. Well, where is your sister? Tell her to get off the phone and let dad know supper is ready. Did I not make myself clear about out lack of silverware on the table? Please remove the Hot Wheels from the table. Kid three, the dog does not like peas. Just set them on the table. While you’re at it, remove the Hot Wheels. Kid one, your hair looks fine, it is supper, not a date. Go call your father in for supper. Dog, go lie down and get out from under my feet! Kid two, will you please go get the silverware? He’s in the garage, kid one. Oh, never mind.”(opening the door and bellowing)“Eric, supper! No, not in five minutes. Now!”
Preparing for supper these days – “Here you go.” (Handing over plate full of food as we settle into our chairs in the living room and turn on a re-run of Cops.)
Meeting in the kitchen after work now – “How was your day?” “Eh, another day.”
Meeting in the kitchen after work eight years ago – “How was your… what the heck is that?” “Your son made it in art. Tell him it is awesome and looks just like Sonic the Hedgehog, then ask him to get it off my counter. If you see your daughter, tell her no. Just no, don’t let her talk you into anything. Don’t mention kid three’s bandage, he’ll just whine. And can you pick kid two up after play practice tomorrow? Oh, and the dog needs food.”
Twenty years ago, a trip to the grocery store was a chance to escape. “I’ll go, you stay here with the kids.” “No, I’ll go, you stay here with the kids.” “No, I haven’t made a list.” “Well, just make a list!” “No, you stay here with the kids.” “Can’t you just take them with?”
Now, a trip to the grocery store is a chore that needs doing. “I need eggs. Will you run to town?” “I don’t want to. But while you’re there, will you pick me up some potato chips and an oil filter? Oh, and the dog is out of food.”
See what I mean? Things are different. But there are some things that never change. We still meet in the kitchen to discuss our day, and the dog usually needs food. We still share a quiet smile, even if it is over the dog’s antics instead of a comment from a kid. We still have driveway wars to see who gets the best parking spot when the stuff in front of the garage is muddy.
And we still lean on each other, count on each other and love each other.
Happy anniversary, Honey.