So yesterday was my 5-year anniversary. As you may have gathered from my previous post, my husband is not big on gifts, and I’m not really bound by occassion. This year, however, I decided to get a gift for the men who do appreciate me, my boys.
The idea came to me one morning. I had just woken up and was laying in bed watching my youngest. He had cried himself awake sometime in the dead of night, and per usual refused to stay asleep unless next to me, and so he ended up in bed with me.
So I’m laying there, examining his face by the early morning light, overcome by love and all the sappy motherly emotions you hope could last all day. Then he wakes up and gives me the cutest smiles and sweetest hugs, I feel so blessed and I realize, this tiny human being, this is my gift. Every year, him and his brother are my anniversary gifts, and I love and cherish them so much I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Then, in his loving play, he whacks me in the eye and I think, maybe I should have saved the receipt, hrmpff.
I bought them a wooden picnic table for kids with built-in basins for water or sand. My eldest is hypersensitive, so it was recommended he play in/ with sand to help him desensitize a bit. I didn’t know when I bought it that the gift for a 5-year anniversary was wood, but that was a fun coincidence. And we had fun using it, the four of us sitting at the table messing around in the sand. So in the end, our bonus gift was quality family time. No fighting, just fun and laughter.
Until it was naptime.
Five years of fun times and headaches, happiness and heartache. And I honestly don’t know how the next five will be, only that I’m in it for the long haul. You know the expression, you made your bed, now you have to lie in it. Well, the first year of marriage was like sleeping in a nice, cozy, new bed. But as the years go by, there’s some wear and tear, and then the lumps appear. My bed’s a little more lumpy than I thought it would be (figuratively, but also literally because of the tiny bodies that keep appearing in it).
But what do you do with a lumpy bed? You change the mattress, you don’t throw out the whole frame. And even though at times I get so frustrated with my husband that the only thing that helps me through the long hours of the day is fantasizing about being a divorcé (or widow), I think of the commitment we made and what that means to me.
I search deep and usually come up with a reason to stay in the game. Sometimes it’s a speck of love hidden away in the deep crevices of my heart. Other times, it’s a panick attack like fear of having to raise two small boys on my own. In any case, I usually find a good enough reason to stay married, is what I’m saying.
But after five years, it’s time for a new mattress, a new mindset – time to keep reminding myself and my husband of the reasons we married each other. And since no mattress stays new forever, I just hope the lumps take a little longer to develop this time. The figurative lumps. No more literal ones for me.