My marriage is far from perfect. Together for twenty-three years—we bicker, we love, we grumble, we create. An overbearing extrovert and her grumpy prince. Add two kids (clones of their parents) and you have a perfect storm.
It’s okay. We find our calm in the storm.
Recently, my husband forwarded me a Facebook memory. It was a photo of our daughter six years back, brushing a blonde horse named Dusty. She was young, her smile bright. Her brother was there too, engaged and enthused, long before hanging with his family became uncool.
“FB loves to remind you how innocent and easy life was,” my husband texted.
The snapshot did look innocent and precious. I could romanticize it, claim that our family left the riding lesson (to do something like apple picking) and then giggled our way home. But chances are—that’s not the case.
Chances are—he tripped her on his way out of the barn, exclaiming that if he’d been the rider, he’d be a professional racer by now.
Chances are—my attention was in forty-two different places during that lesson (thinking about work, wondering how I would get it all done).
Chances are—we could barely afford the lesson.
I think we’ve had calm times since we’ve been together. Three houses, two kids, two dogs, two birds, too many cars and too many businesses. I’m sure there’s been calm. I’d almost bet on it.
Life feels a bit heavy and chaotic these days. No matter how much we plan, a sense of control eludes us. Still, as a couple, we are at our best while facing challenges together. We thrive off the heat. We are our strongest as a team.
On any given night, we might be locked in a full-fledged stand-off—with no common ground. We argue, quickly and with full commitment, about what to watch, to eat, to do.
Yet. Give us a home renovation, an emergency, a business to launch or close, a life-changing decision– and we are the fine-tuned Fortune 500. Yin and Yang. A bowl of homemade gnocchi–extra sauce.
We are strong.
We are one.
On some level, life was simpler back when that photo was taken.
What will we make of today’s photos ten years from now?
Chances are—we’ll look back at the incredible life we built together, as a fiery duo, and be reminded of the strength we demonstrated when facing adversity.
Chances are—we’ll look back, laugh, and reminisce about raising teenagers. How we miss when they were even ‘this small’, and how grateful we are that they turned out to be happy, and healthy, and tall!
Chances are—(not good) that we agreed that I should choose all of the movies, everything that we’d eat, and all of what we’d do. This cycle will likely continue, to my chagrin.
For all the snapshots we take from now until then, I’ll try to remind myself that these are the simple moments, too. To forget the forty-two things in my head and hang on to this, in the midst of chaos.
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