It’s the season to get engaged!
I should know. In December 2003, I got engaged.
It’s Christmas 2003 now and I find myself buying video games and Little People sets.
Ten years ago, I wasn’t thinking about Santa Claus and Elves on Shelves. I didn’t know how many, what gender or even if I would be having kids.
No, I was sitting next to my boyfriend at one of our favorite restaurants in Virginia Highlands, staring at a glittering ring nestled in a little black box as I heard him say the words every girl dreams.
Yes, he popped the question.
Looking deep into my soul, he said, “Let’s do this.”
To which I passionately replied, “Yes, let’s.”
Okay, so it wasn’t so much a question as it was a challenge he issued.
But I was totally up for it.
That night was the beginning of a chapter in my life that has brought me everything that I value most in this world.
In July 2004, we took our vows.
We vowed we would be there for each other in all things. It’s a blind vow, that vow. You don’t know what you’re agreeing to. If someone had shown up with a sneak peek of first year dinner disasters, marital growing pains and two intense childbirths with a hospital-queasy husband…there might have been some negotiations and contracts before walking down the aisle.
But you don’t get any such sneak peeks. You get a promise. You make a promise.
Then you hold on tight.
Your promise is to be there. For the good. For the great. For the not-so-great.
For the downright ugly.
Some days you rock this thing called marriage, and other days there isn’t enough Ben and Jerry’s in the universe to make the day better.
But you keep your promise because you love each other. And even though love is often work, it’s worth it.
As you begin your life as a married couple, it’s the newness that’s exciting. It’s all about the places you will go together. It’s about decorating your first Christmas tree, hosting your first family dinner and dreaming about your children. It’s the excitement of the new. I loved all the “new.”
The years add a dimension that I find even better, though. It’s the familiarity. The bond you forge when you are going through this thing called life together. It’s looking back at where you’ve been, where you lived, who you’ve lost.
It’s a bond that builds as you nurse each other back to health in times of illness. It binds even tighter as you whisper into tiny ears and kiss tiny toes in awe of the life you’ve created together. It’s the comfort that comes over you as you walk through your front door after the craziest day. It’s even in those times when you admit to each other that you have no idea what you are doing.
It’s the sentences spoken entirely in facial expressions. It’s the conversations about your kids that no one else on the planet would give a flip about but you can’t seem to get through one date night without having. It’s the sixth sense you have about when the other person has hit a wall and you need to step in and take over.
It’s the accomplishment of each and every year.
If you’ve recently gotten engaged, remember this time in your life. Remember the moment. Write it in the book in your mind so that in ten years, you can look back and savor how far you’ve come. It’s the start of something good. It turns into something great. It’s amazing. It’s precious. It’s work.
But all in all, it is totally worth every minute.