Robin Hood and I have been married four years today. Four years! That’s one Olympic cycle, or one United States presidential term. A long time from some angles, a microscopic drop in the ocean of time from others.
I know four years isn’t a very long time to be married. I mean, if this were a marathon and years were miles, we’d be just settling into a comfortable pace at this point. Barely past the first water station.
By comparison, my parents are celebrating 50 years of marriage this year. FIFTY! Can we all give them a round of applause, please?
No matter the angle of perspective, anniversaries are special, and always worth observing (I say “observing” instead of “celebrating” because let’s face it, not all anniversaries are merry occasions). When an anniversary rolls around, it’s a golden opportunity to pause and take stock. How have we grown in the last year? What challenges have we overcome? What made us cheer? What are we still wrestling?
In the case of marriage, how has our relationship been strengthened? If we look at our marriage as a quilt with a new square added each year, what stitches make us proud? Which ones make us flinch? Which ones make us laugh until we’re snorting?
In my marriage, our quilt may not have many squares yet, but boy is each one full. This past year is no exception — a little messy at times, but I wouldn’t trade it. I’m continuing to learn a LOT about how a marriage works: things that are worth speaking up about, things that aren’t; things to care about, things that just don’t matter. I’ve seen new sides of myself this year, and new sides of my husband. We’ve irritated each other and made each other laugh. We’ve yelled and we’ve bear-hugged. Most of all, we’ve simply been there for each other. Love is an endless lesson, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner.
I also couldn’t ask for a better example than my parents. Their marriage has traveled across multiple states, produced four children, and endured a variety of challenges. Their quilt is a gorgeous one, and the colors have never faded. They’ve shown, and continue to show, their family the importance of caring, compromise, work, and humor. And that’s barely scratching the surface.
Robin Hood: Happy anniversary! You’re my better half and I love you 1,000 bushels and 1,000 pecks.
Mom and Dad: Happy golden, and thank you for everything.
May the adventures continue for many years to come!