mama mondays: anniversary-by-numbers

Mama Mondays: 18/18 – Anniversary-by-Numbers

It’s official. I’ve now been married to my husband, Troy, for the same duration as the years I lived prior to our meeting. In other words, we met at 18, and today, we celebrate 18 years of marriage. In between the first 18 and our wedding day were the 5 college/courting years. Our oldest son will be 14 next month, our youngest is 4. In between are the rest – middle son who’s officially 7 this week and his sisters, 9 and 12.

While numbers and I don’t generally meld too well, I love the synchronicity aspect of them; like having been born in 1968 and graduated high school in 1986 – that sort of thing. On that level, numbers fascinate me.

Tonight, on the eve of our wedding anniversary, we enjoyed a wonderful Japanese meal at Kobe’s in Fargo, followed by (drum-roll please)…a wild shopping excursion at one of the “marts” in town. We needed a few household items – curtain rings for the shower, batteries for our son’s new remote-control vehicle, light bulbs, shampoo. It’s all so exciting in our 18th year of marriage!

I kid, and yet, I have to say, things are going pretty well for us at this juncture in our lives together. We’ve had our share of rough years, some darker than I wish; years when it seemed we were on different tracks and might not ever find our way back to one another. But we worked hard – the hardest we’ve ever worked emotionally on anything – and I’m pleased to say we’ve come out intact, as a family and as a couple.

This summer, we came up against the difficult realization that we might have to close our business. Moving toward and through that has been anything but pleasant or easy. But throughout the process, I have heard Troy’s encouraging voice, “We’ll get through it.” Sometimes, I’ve been the one to whisper it to him. And the thing is, at this point in our lives, I’m beginning to believe in the mantra. After 23 years of knowing Troy, I have come to believe that our most difficult years are behind us. That’s not to say there won’t be tough years ahead, that our children won’t experience difficult moments, that failing physically as we age won’t be excruciatingly hard. But, I honestly can’t think of anything worse than what we’ve come through.

And that’s the key. We’ve come through it, and we’re heading into a brighter period of our lives together. In fact, we’re already there, though still at the edge. But it’s a new and wonderful thing and I like the promises it holds – the promise of something that can only be experienced after working through something really daunting. For starters, for the first time in our married lives, Troy isn’t working retail hours. We’re getting a new chance to experience having weekends together, to work together as a team in a way that has not been possible until now. Even though it’s still not Easy Street around here, it’s become significantly lighter due to Troy’s new 7:30 to 4:30, Saturdays-off schedule. I keep pinching myself over this new reality, and I’ve caught Troy doing the same. It’s still an oftentimes chaotic life as we do the hard work of raising five children, but the theme song from Mary Tyler Moore keeps running through my mind nevertheless: “We’re gonna make it after all.”

A few paragraphs back, another synchronicity of numbers jumped out at me: 23 years of knowing one another, married on the 23rd. I know, it probably means absolutely nothing at all. I’m not a believer in numerology, but even the Bible contains the congruence of certain numbers and examples of numbers as being significant or at least symbolic for something either good or bad. If there is anything at all to the numbers thing, I choose to believe the lining up of 18 and 23 signals a good year ahead.

But you can bet that in waiting for that something good, I will heed those words of wisdom that say if you spend your days looking only for the big miracle, you will miss all the small ones along the way. So in the year ahead, I’m going to keep my eyes open, wide open, for the small miracles. There might be 18 or 23 or 1,823, or maybe even 2,318. Regardless of the number, I don’t want to miss a single one.

If you’re married, join us in celebrating wedding anniversaries today! How many years have you been married? In five words, describe your spouse.