Eight years ago today my father walked me down an aisle of plastic trees and grape vines, giving me away to Not-Kirk, the man who stole my heart over margaritas and theatre a scant eight months before.
Seven years ago today my husband and I celebrated with perhaps too much gusto. We made it through a few failed attempts at becoming parents, holding on to hope while also examining what a forever with just the two of us would look like. We celebrated our family as it was, a perfect love between two people.
Six years ago today we woke up in a co-sleeping tangle, Twinkle nursing on my left with Not-Kirk gently running his fingers through my hair. We made it through a terrifying pregnancy and were rewarded with perfection in the form of 10 fingers, 10 toes and unending smiles. We made it through Not-Kirk’s “break-through” episode of mental illness, finally landing us on the path of correct diagnosis and treatment. I am not sure if either one of us felt confident about what our future would look like, but our place as family was secured.
Five years ago today, after two failed attempted at creating a sibling for Twinkle, I stood on the F train in New York City with my love, our first trip without our little one, and convinced Not-Kirk we should try, just one more time, to make another baby. We had to go all in, and we had to know that our family was complete no matter the outcome.
Four years ago today the four of us woke up in a tangle of co-sleeping and love. Sandwiched between children, nursing one while singing to the other, my husband and I celebrated our love through the presence of its multipliers. After another horrifying pregnancy that nearly cost both Ninja and I our lives, after Twinkle and Not-Kirk witnessing our hearts nearly stop, our family was complete, and completely perfect.
Three years ago today we started down the road to leave Chicago, and the only life we had ever known together, to give to our children a life full of extended family. Through the music-less dances we shared in our tiny kitchen and the kisses we sneaked before bedtime, our groove as husband and wife started sharing space with our groove as mom and dad again.
Two years ago today we had our first Michigan anniversary. I don’t remember where we went, what we ate or how long we stayed out. I do remember feeling completely head over feet for this man that my boyfriend of two minutes, fiancés of a few months, had turned into over the years. From the cataclysmic shock of realizing during our first date that I wanted to marry this man to the sixth anniversary of our wedding, we had grown along parallel tracks with a shared vision for our future.
Last year we watched a high-brow documentary while eating greasy pizza on our couch. The children were gone for the night so we turned the volume up past our house rule maximum, level 13. We held hands and snogged, enjoying being the only ones who could break the silence.
Today we woke up in a tangled mass of four people, all too big to snuggle together in our little bed. We told the kids it was our anniversary, and they could give us the best present ever by getting dressed and eating breakfast without help. 32 interruptions later, they were proud they had succeeded in getting ready all by themselves. As I locked the door to leave for work, I see that Not-Kirk remembered it was trash collection day, staying up far later than he should to gather our trash. I see that he made sure my car window was shut, and that he went and filled up my gas tank in the middle of the night so I wouldn’t have to rush work. Tonight Not-Kirk rehearses the play we both hope will pull his fledging company into the black – I will sing songs of finding joy and twinkling stars as I tell our amazing children that the world is already a better place because they were born into it. I will startle awake when Not-Kirk climbs into bed, exhausted and weary from four hours of bringing the text of Langford Wilson alive. We will hold hands and I will try desperately to stay awake while he tells me of his night. I will make it until he kisses my forehead and tells me he loves me, passing out again while snuggled in his arms.
Happy anniversary my love – your unending love never goes unnoticed.