Ten years ago today, we got married, in a Buddhist temple.
We were tired, relieved and happy, for we had to jump through many obstacles to get married, him being white. I could hardly speak that day, not just because I was choking, but also because I was croaking. I had a terrible sore throat and was sick for about a week after our wedding.
I have always wondered, what if we had never met, or if we never decided to get married, or we decided to never have children?
And I always answered myself, Well, no point wondering! We’ve done it and whatever good or bad that had come with it, are over.
I am filled with gratitude for my family accepting R, for my in-laws welcoming me into their family most graciously, for the ups and downs we went through that had strengthened our relationship and helped us grow. (Yes, I know, so cheesy and cliché, but all true.) Our children are energetic and crazy, including Ferdinand. I am grateful, even if my heart aches with longing.
Ten things I love about my other half:
- He is the most patient listener. Even if what I was babbling was nonsense, and even if he had already heard it 9,999 times before, he would hear me to the end before he speaks.
- I can tell him anything. Well– almost. That’s good enough.
- He rocks as a birth partner. I cannot imagine having had four children without him by my side. He would do anything for me, does not freak out about blood or va.ginal births, and is good to bite into.
- He will try anything.
- He is darn good at navigation. So important because I can’t tell north from west.
- He has an awesome sense of humor. Most people will not think of him as funny, but I always tell my kids: I married him because he makes me laugh.
- He watches romantic movies with me, even though they make his skin crawl.
- He takes care of the creepy crawlies. I still scream when I see a roach, which he chides me about, but I can wake him up at 3am just to take care of a roach obnoxiously waving its antennae at me.
- He lets me be crazy me.
- He had really grown into his role as a father. They adore him as much as I do.
On this day I allow myself yet another trip down memory lane, and I smile. There had been intense fights, and many bittersweet moments. And wonderful ones too. Today we are really glad that we are still together and look forward to the next ten years. This post is so full of clichés but really, what else can I say? They all come from my heart, and it is a post in celebration, not something for me to flex my (non-existent) literary prowess.
Below is my favorite photo from our dating/traveling days. It is just a casual and spontaneous shot, but I think it is a cool picture, and I love the tones and hues and the composition. We were at a bus stop in the mountains of the Philippines. The camera sits on an opposite bench. I will never forgive him for making us lost amongst the rice terraces! Thank goodness we never lost our balance and plopped right into a rice paddy! One day we were so lost it was dusk by the time we navigated our way off the paddies and into a village, with dogs barking all over like crazy, and fireflies swarming all about. Lucky for us the villagers greeted us with smiles instead of machetes. That said, it was an unforgettable experience and the views were amazing. I recall us scouring the streets looking for a silversmith, and smile wistfully at the memory of the wood-worker who works outside in an exposed shed, chicken specking, clucking, and milling all about and how he proudly showed us a mug he had just carved, after wiping chicken shit off of it. We still have that mug. That was a wonderful trip, in the mountains of the Philippines, ice-cold showers and all.
We were so lost amongst the rice paddies because there were no maps for those things. You’ve got to be a rice farmer to know where to turn. But we always wanted to fall off the map. We had fallen off the map, and continue to navigate our way through our parenthood one child short and dreams shattered. Thankfully we need not do it alone.
How to celebrate? Good question. He dreams of Hawaii, I have a hard time picking any place (Costa Rice/Ireland/Scotland/Lithuania/Prague/Slovakia/Sri Lanka/New Lealand… …???). But we can’t really go anywhere until we sell our cabin. (Got selling tips? Send ’em on! If not, gimme all the selling vibes you have!) I would like to go on a hot air balloon trip, especially before leaving Arizona, but Lyra won’t be able to join us. I would also like to have some decent family photos of us. We have tons of pictures of the kids, but hardly any of us all. We are both not the most relaxed in-front of a camera so I am not sure this will even happen. Morever, it’s too hot to take pictures outside and we like the golden light outside when it is golden. So, it’s all open. The answer is I don’t know. What I do know is that: there will be cake, of course. And that we have much to celebrate.