On May 22, 2011, I woke to the sound of cartoons, softly muted, making their way up the stairs. Then, the sound of dishes clanking, spoons tinkling and the microwave. My husband and I snuggled deeper into our sheets, relishing the fact that finally, after all these years, the kids can finally take care of themselves in the morning. and we can sleep.
Next, there were two beaming faces standing in our doorway, each holding a bowl of oatmeal with a spoon. “Happy Anniversary,” they said.
The oatmeal was one of the best bowls of food I’ve ever eaten — but of course food you don’t make yourself always tastes better. Downstairs, there was hot chocolate waiting for us, with clumps of powder still in the bottom of the mug.
Do you have any idea how precious this is? Did I have any idea that this is what I was really signing up for, 18 years ago when I said, “I do?” No one can tell you how deeply love will spread, I guess.
There is not a moment that goes by that I don’t look at the “gift card” and I am in awe of the radiance and power of their love.
When complimenting him about how great the oatmeal tasted, he looked at me in wonderment… “Was the oatmeal really that good, or are you just saying that to make me feel good?”
I did my best to reassure him — yes it indeed it was good… and then stopped. What difference does it make if I liked the oatmeal, or wouldn’t it be better if the oatmeal was horrible… but it was because I treasure you, the oatmeal was delicious and that’s why I loved it? Because of you?
Love can be so complicated. This couldn’t have been a more abundant 18th wedding anniversary. There were soccer games (the older boys were refs, and one even referred his little brother’s game) — there was a moment when three of the four boys were on the field at the same time. There was steak, banana cream pie… and good wine — and the faces of lots of old friends. They were radiant.