Every September the leaves are just beginning to turn and there's a feeling in the air- a little bit of fall, but a little bit of nostalgia too- remembering what it felt like, so many years ago, to fall in love.
When I think about the little anniversaries in our life, our first date, our first kiss, that first summer together, I think I might enjoy these small markers even more than our wedding anniversary. These things are the things we've built everything on. The little things. That first look at each other when we were getting out of our cars, meeting for dinner on our first date. Walking over to meet Hank in the parking lot, holding hands while we strolled around before the movie, embracing before we said goodbye. And later, the first time I introduced him to my family; our first weekend away, the first time we said 'I love you,' our first fight.
I of course don't have most of these dates jotted down, but when I think back to them, I can pull them out of the depths of the past decade and recall specific details if I try hard enough. The polka dot skirt I wore. The hoodie Hank had on, that he let me wear in the movie theater. I can even remember getting online the next morning to find the longest letter from him, post-first-date, helping to push aside all the secret fears I had been holding onto.
And the small things are what have made us into who we are. They are things that have formed the foundation of us, and that have allowed us to build and build until we arrived at where we are now. Many more years ahead of us, but here we are, this love and our two children and this life that we have built.
To have someone who sees you and gets you and accepts you, who has seen the very worst parts of you, who has been the hand and the shoulder and the arms and the ears, who has been everything to you, and who has let you be you, to be the best you you didn't even know was inside of you...that is a special, special thing.
10 years represents so much- hard work and good times (and bad times) and everything in between. It's spending your entire 20s with your best friend, a period of great growth and change, and finding out that where it could have been possible to grow apart, you were lucky enough to grow even stronger. It's a deep, passionate, quiet, comfortable love. It's holding someone in your arms, in all of their flawed imperfection, and saying "I see you. All of you. And I love you all the same."
My sweet, sweet love. Here's to 10 years, and here's to 100 more.
photo by Christina Heaston