As I enter my thirties, I realized I've spent the entire last decade with my husband. I've been thinking a lot about that 20 year-old girl I was when I met him. I was fresh out of my first real relationship, one that's frankly embarassing to look back on in all of it's feverish first-love intensity; completely undeserving of my devotion was he, as he was a total knob. Mad Dog and Manischewitz were the closest I'd come to appreciating wine and that boy's brew of choice was Keystone Ice. Yep, it was a quality time fo' sho'. The time in your life when you think the definition of Twue Wuv is to love what your partner loves, period.
Then I spotted that cute boy (J) at the club fair before school started and felt the warming in the belly that comes when you look at someone and think 'I want to know him!' As luck would have it, he was in my 8am class so, for once, I didn't hit the snooze and I wasn't afraid to let my smart and sassy side out because he was quiet, but wickedly smaht. The yin to my yang. Even better, he lived in the dorm below me, so there was ample opportunity to accidentally-on-purpose walk to classes together and chat him up without being super obvious. Well, there would have been, if one of my defining characteristics was not to be super obvious.
Looking back, I can't pinpoint the specific time in our (J's and I) relationship when I sat back and sighed and let the real me, faults and all, shine through but it happened and he still loved me. Oh, is that love? I was fiercely opinionated and independent, outgoing and loved to be the center of attention. And he let me be.
College came to a close, I graduated and waited for his old butt to finish as he'd taken time from school to be an Airborne Ranger in the Army; a fact that failed to impress me on our first 'date' when he showed me the article in a magazine during a Halloween party in his dorm about his unit, as I was sure he was pulling my leg.
I started my career as a Child Welfare social worker and during his senior year we got married, then came medical school, the birth of H, residency, the birth of C and here we are.
I'm sitting and drinking a chilled glass of Bridlewood Viognier, listening to my babes sleep and getting ready to knit some more socks. Did that 20 year-old girl think she'd be an at-home mom? Not in a million years. Could she imagine a time when she'd worship at the gates of heavy red wines? Could I have foreseen that I'd be completely content in a relationship with a man that is my partner and makes me happy, but upon whom I do not rely for my happiness? I think it's what I always hoped, but I wouldn't have been able to define it.
We will be a success of residency, unlike many that end in divorce, because more than loving each other, we are content to be our own people. We appreciate what the other person is and we make the most of what we have right now.
Oh yeah, and we make sure to have sex a lot.