Thursday, September 12, 2013
This last Sunday, J and I celebrated the 14th anniversary of our first wedding. I realize that the previous sentence is a touch confusing. You see, J and I actually had two weddings. The first one was with a JP and our mothers witnessing. We had quick vows, exchanged rings, filled out the paperwork, then headed out for a dinner before driving off to a theme park for our "honeymoon". I was twenty, and couldn't even legally drink the celebratory glass of champagne at my own wedding. I did, but don't tell anyone ;)
The second one was the one we spent over two years saving up. This was the traditional wedding with flower girls, ushers, and a big frou frou wedding dress. It was a year later, and most of our extended family think that this was the real wedding. But it wasn't. To us, it was more like a big party celebrating our love again with everyone.
Why we decided to tie the knot twice doesn't really matter. Suffice to say it was not for any major reason. I wasn't knocked up, and it was purely by choice.
So this weekend marked 14 years of our very first wedding. And of course J was sick, along with Ashe. We stayed home and didn't do much aside from a special dinner the two of us had after the boys went to bed. It was almost a typical day. However, I had a conversation with Ashe that really made me focus on something very special.
While Ashe was feverish, he and I headed upstairs to cuddle while we waited for the medication to kick in. We talked about his favorite games, and how he wants to build his own games for kids when he grows up. And somehow we got to talking about family. He casually mentioned how Grammy was my mom so that meant Grampa was my dad....only he isn't. So I had to explain the intricacies of remarriage and family bonds can sometimes be tighter with love than blood. And then he asked what happened to my father.
"Well", I paused, not wanting to get into the gritty details, "sometimes husbands and wives decide to divorce."
"What does divorce mean?"
And it's at that point in time when I realize how lucky my kids are, if they don't even know what that word means at almost seven tears of age.
Growing up, divorce was a big part of my life. My parents separated when I was three, and divorced when I was four. It was NOT a good divorce either. It was messy, and scary, and long lasting. As I aged, most of my friends parents had also divorced. It was rare to find a peer whose parents were still together and happy.
So to see my child completely ignorant in the word and meaning.... it really hit home to me.
Some people may say that J and I married too young. And I will acknowledge that many of the marriages of very young adults do tend to end up in divorce. Many people are not mature enough at that age to make such a life changing decision.
And yet I would say that looking back, even at age twenty, I knew exactly what I wanted in my life partner, and J fit the bill and then some. Both of us came from homes that were rough. Both of us felt that FAMILY was of the utmost importance. And both of us desperately wanted to give our future children a home filled with love and laughter, done as a team.
That's exactly what we did. The road hasn't always been easy. It was filled with potholes, detours, and sometimes dead ends where we had to backtrack. But we worked together as a team to build our dreams, and we continue to do so.
When my child asks me what Divorce means on our anniversary, I know that despite our young age when we made our vows, we did know what we were doing that day so long ago. And here in the present, we are still as much in love if not more so, stronger as a partnership, and building a beautiful foundation to our children's lives.
That night, as J and I sat down to a quiet dinner alone, I thanked him for choosing me. And he looked into my eyes and said "no, thank you!" And we smiled and basked in the understanding that we do complete one another, and make the best team.
Happy anniversary Babes. I can't wait to see what the next 14 years bring.