Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Husband of my youth
Our anniversary is this Friday. We will celebrate our 17th year of marriage. This summer marks 21 years since we started dating, and about 23 years since this handsome boy walked into my life. He was thin and tall, dark-haired and handsome. We were friends first and for a very long time before he first held my hand and the twinkle in his eye changed to a special look that was just for me. We laughed together then. Lots of laughter. We walked and talked together on soft, summer beaches. We drove around in his little stick shift (which he handily taught me how to drive) and listened to music and shared our dreams. We watched movies and ate junk food. We raced down sand dunes and snow hills. Did I mention we laughed? :D
Once, when we were engaged, a well-meaning person, witnessing our laughter and youthful messing around, asked if I realized that this buddy of mine was going to be my husband. I think this person thought we were too young (we were 20 and 21), or having too much fun just goofing around (we may have been having a water fight at the time!) to be taking seriously what we were about to undertake together. I got the impression he thought we were going to have to stop being buddies so we could be husband and wife.
He was right and oh, so wrong. He was right because we were young and we were buddies. We loved to have fun together, and we had no idea what we were getting into together! At 20, as I looked into the face of my handsome groom, I had no idea what the years would hold. Does any bride or groom?
That early concerned bystander was wrong, though. I'm so glad we didn't take his words to heart and stop being buddies. We never stopped. We love each other more today that we had the capacity to love on our wedding day. But also, we really really like each other. We are still friends. We still laugh. Actually, we laugh a lot (did I mention we have four children and a giant, beast of a dog?). We still watch movies (the junk food has to be kept in moderation now, though). We still walk (hand in hand unless our hands are full of wagon handles and ice cream cones and sticky little fingers) and drive (road trips that sometimes test the bounds of sanity) and talk (catching up - "What do we have going on this week?) and talk (serious business..."Number 3 had an incident at school today..."). Now, though, we also share so much more. God has built us a family. He has sustained our marriage. He has given us ministry together, ways to serve Him. He displays His grace and His splendor in the day to day of our family.
I am thankful for my husband. He is a joy to me. The life we have is the one I never imagined in front of that church on an oppressively hot June day. It has gone beyond the scope of my naive twenty year-old understanding. They say that the young are the ones dreaming about the future. That may be, but it is the rest of us, living out the future one precious, unexpected day at a time, that truly understand the stuff that dreams are made of.