Many, many years ago (too many--I feel old), and only a few months before I met Scott, I was in the kitchen of a boyfriend's family's apartment, watching his parents prepare dinner. We were hanging out in the living room, playing cards with the boyfriend's brother and sister and I glanced up just in time to see the father give his wife a spontaneous hug from behind as she stirred something on the stove. He leaned into her and whispered some joke into her ear and she smiled and settled her back against him. At that same moment I glanced over at the boyfriend and realized he had caught the exchange too. He smiled to himself--a satisfied smile--he looked like a small child who is happy that all is so right in his world.
Right then and there I decided two things: 1) that my worries about how the boyfriend and I weren't well-matched were entirely justified and 2) that I would settle for no less but to give the gift of love in marriage to my own future children, one day.
And then a week later the boyfriend and I broke up, and only a few months later I found myself at a Christmas party where I walked into the kitchen to retrieve a drink for myself and there was Scott, leaning against the stove, beer in hand, and the rest, as they might say, is history.
Scott and I are celebrating our fourteenth wedding anniversary today. Fourteen years seems like a long time, yet not so mind-bogglingly long as forty years, or fifty, even. We're proud to be celebrating fourteen years--fourteen years that have been filled with many joys, and challenges, too. A good marriage is built upon what you do with the challenges thrown your way; anyone, I guess, can fall in love, but not anyone can help that love take root, explode it out a million ways to light the path through the twisty, darker, less fairy-tale parts of life and marriage.
I feel lucky, as I do every year on this day (and on many other days in-between, too). As we inch towards bigger milestones: fifteen years, twenty, thirty, I marvel at how much we are still able to learn and teach each other, and love each other, too. I think about that vow I made to myself, in that apartment years ago. I think about how out of all the gifts Scott and I have given to our children, the gift of our own love for each other, I hope, just might be the most extraordinary of them all.