Today is Clif and my 8 year anniversary. Eight years ago today we stood in front of our family and friends and promised for better or for worse to love and cherish one another.
Even when marriage is easy it's hard. I would say that Clif and I have an easy relationship. We don't argue a whole lot. We're both fairly easy going. And when it's just me and Clif, our marriage is a piece of cake.
Seven years ago, we went out to dinner and I was super pregnant with Ainsley. My due date just one month away. Even though I was swollen and cranky and tired and huge...that was so very easy. And all those dinners and nights out and conversations and parties and concerts and trips were so easy before kids came into the picture.
Last year, we spent our anniversary in the hospital with our 1 day old. We watched movies, held Cohen, and napped most of the day. That also was pretty easy.
But I would say that most days are not so easy. I love my husband and he loves me, but day to day life is hard. Conversations are practically non-existent. Date nights are few and far between. We don't have the time or money for them. We have not taken a trip, just the two of us, since our honeymoon. Again, that pesky time/money/babysitter issue.
I am not saying that this is the "worse" in for better or worse, but I also wouldn't call it the better. We always put off date night for kids events and activities. Spend our date money on new shoes or school pictures or soccer registration when it's needed.
And I'm not complaining. We love our kids. Life is hectic and crazy, but we love it. The problem is that it's not easy to remember to love and cherish when you're busy bathing and soothing and cooking and cleaning and commuting and working. I can see where it would be very easy to forget those vows and instead, resort to nagging and resenting. We know that we're supposed to make time for one another and keep the foundation of our family - our marriage - strong, but time is something we don't have a lot of. Maybe we'll be able to go out to dinner at some point to celebrate our anniversary, but maybe not. And if we do, it may not be until mid July or August.
This morning, I woke up after a very difficult night. Clif was getting ready for work. Cohen was sleeping in the bed between us. The two older kids were still in their beds. I was home because, well, I'm out of work once again today. I woke up pissed off, in fact, I'm still pissed off. See this year for our anniversary, we spent the night before cleaning and scrubbing and de-licing our kids. Then I "slept" with visions of little bugs crawling all over me for about 3 hours.
Oh yeah, you read that right. DE-LICING until well past midnight.
Neither of us even remembered our anniversary. It wasn't until Clif mentioned something about Cohen's birthday yesterday that it dawned on me...June 10th...that seems significant...
I said, "Oh yeah...it's our anniversary."
Clif paused, looked at me, and said "Oh wow. It sure is."
And that was it really. Both of us too exhausted and annoyed to even say anything else. Not necessarily annoyed with each other, but it is always easiest to take our frustrations out on our spouse, right?
So today? Maybe today is the worse. Because right now as I sit here and comb through hair finding tiny little bugs, as I scratch my head over and over again, as I scrub sheets and pillows and stuffed animals, I don't feel very romantic or in love. I feel like I want to run to an island far, far, away and only have myself to worry about. But marriage isn't always about love or romance.
There's no surprise ending to this story. Clif didn't pick me up in a limo and wine and dine me all day. He didn't send me to a spa. He didn't send flowers. And I didn't take him out for a nice dinner or buy him a new watch. Hell, I didn't even buy a card. Today will end and we will have been married 8 years. And this year, it's gift enough that we're both planning on being here in another 8, 16, or maybe 50 years. But then? Well then I'm finding my freaking island.
Clif, I love you and if I have to pick bugs out of my kids hair at midnight on a Monday, well then I'm glad you're the one sitting next to me researching the process - even if I do burst into tears randomly and argue with everything you suggest.