I see him looking up at the walls, eyeing those pictures. In that little three-year-old brain of his, he is wondering if those people in the pictures are really his Mommy and Daddy. He is questioning why Mama looks like a princess. He is trying to remember if he was there.
Every once in a while we talk about those pictures on the wall. We tell him about the time, before he was around, when Mommy and Daddy got married.
It is a big concept for such a little guy. So I explain it, little by little, bit by bit, story by story. Because I want him to know.
To my sweet eldest boy, who understands these words, and to my sweet youngest boy, who is just learning them: We got married five years ago because of you.
Marriage, for us, meant the beginning of something beautiful. It was the knitting together of two lives to form one family. It was the foundation from which the rest of our lives will be based on. It was commitment. It was understanding. It was creation. ‘I do‘ bonded us for life as we chose, right then and there, to be a family.
Someday you’ll learn that babies don’t all come from marriages and neither do all families. And when you’re older I’ll explain that Mommy wasn’t really a princess that day and that a marriage isn’t a fairy tale and that a commitment is more than just words and that you have to really, truly, be willing to work and that marriage is about respect and communication and that love is more than a feeling and that some things are better when you wait for them.
But today, on this day when you are three and your brother is one and all that you’ve ever known is Mommy and Daddy as a mommy and a daddy, I want you to know that we chose to be a family five years ago today. And we keep choosing this family ever day.
I love you and I love your brother but I love your Daddy more, and that is okay, because this love, this daily choice, is the stable foundation that cocoons our family. You live in this love. You are our love. Both of you – all the walking, talking, unique parts of your individual personhoods – you are both such a beautiful manifestation of this love, of that choice, five years ago today.
And you can see what love is by living in it. Love is coming home to each other at the end of the day. Love is working together to get things done. Love is helping and knowing when to step aside. Love is the stolen kisses and ignoring eye rolls. Love is messing up and saying sorry and finding forgiveness. Love is the constant every day good and bad and beautiful and hard. Love is remembering how I felt about your Daddy five years ago today and knowing that in 30 years we will still be holding strong.
Happy fifth anniversary to both my dear husband and to my darling boys.