I’m at the kitchen window noticing that the back siding needs pressure washing again. Our deck furniture could use some TLC and it’s time to attend a little more to the potted herbs that are hardy despite neglect.
It occurs to me that a house needs maintaining to be a home and a marriage needs tending to be a love story.
I love my love story.
But I don’t always tend it well.
This week marks ten years for us, and in ten years our life looks so different than I ever thought it would.
The boy I met at the end of the aisle in the church where we first worshiped together is now the man who pulls weeds and plants tomatoes and balances budgets that are not ours. The girl who walked that aisle clutching her daddy’s arm is now the woman who writes hoping her words really matter while the pizza dough rises slowly in the kitchen and the babies nap late in the afternoon.
Nearly twelve years ago, he brought me cough drops and sat in a cold light booth and listened for my cues while our friends played out Chekhov’s The Seagull on the stage below. Then he bought me roses because everyone always forgets the stage manager and went to IHOP with me at midnight to eat pancakes and omelets and listen to me talk about my life in hopes and dreams.
Now years later he remembers those early dreams and he works hard to make them my reality someday. I surf Facebook and tell him about those friends of ours who walked alongside our first days of romance. Many of them married girls and boys from that same stage. Last week I posted congrats when two of them became parents for the first time. Saturday night we had dinner with my college roommate and we sighed over where the years have already gone.
They’ve gone into late nights rocking children or curled on the couch with only each other and a dvd. I find them in three different homes and six different jobs and in photographs that mark time with haircuts and baby weight. They are packed in boxes we don’t have room for, jotted in a journal in my nightstand, sent into space with this blog.
Ten years is a lot of memories, a lot of past. But it’s a lot of future, too.
Especially when tended carefully.
Look for lots of marriage posts this week. We celebrate ten years on July 20. If you’re stopping by, drop me a line and let me know how you tend your relationships, and if you are one of our sweet friends who were there for the beginning, feel free to share a memory.