Lucky Number 13
Tis' my 13th wedding anniversary today. In honor of that momentous event, I am "reposting" a post that originally appeared around Christmas 2007. I originally wrote this as a response to a "Fun Monday" assignment: Show us your favorite Christmas ornament and tell us why it's your favorite. I think it works well for our wedding Anniversary as well.
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Once upon a time, there were two young people who were very much in love and had recently gotten engaged. They were carefree, full of hope and anticipation, giddy...clueless.
One of my favorite Christmas ornaments captures the clueless joy of my then-fiance and me perfectly, and I must thank my wonderful mother-in-law for making this ornament and giving it to us.
I love looking at this ornament and laughing at how much I didn't know then, and wishing for a little of that innocence today. Twelve years and five children later, we are no longer that clueless. We have been through miscarriages and labor. We have endured mind-numbing sleep deprivation. We've had our share of financial challenges. We've lost members of our extended family, one at far too young an age. We've changed many, many diapers. We've been to Back to School Night three times now. We've cleaned up after sick children (just tonight, in fact! Rick actually hosed off some bedding in the street tonight...it was just too much stuff for the washing machine.) We've looked at each other in quiet amazement that yes, in fact, all five of them can cry, whine, complain, and yell at the same time. We've looked at each other in quiet and not-so-quiet amazement that this child performed Shakespeare! This one drew a beautiful picture of Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem! This one eats steak, and salmon, and raw garlic, and spicy salsa, and sweet and sour soup! We've raised these five kids each and every day of the last several years, and been through all of the highs and lows that we all get to experience as parents.
We are older and wiser now, not so giddy anymore. But now we get to be something better than giddy: now we get to be that kind of happy that is deep and tired, sometimes shabby like the Velvetine Rabbit, always abiding deep in our hearts. And we are still achieving this kind of happiness. We've still got the teenage years ahead of us to really test our mettle.
Who knew that happiness was scrappy and messy? Not those two kids in the ornament picture. But when I look at that picture, I realize that this is the very lesson I am learning every day, and I smile because I miss those early days and because I wouldn't change places with that girl for all the gold in the world.
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