September is very quickly approaching. I know, how did that happen? And, that means a few things. It means that it's back to school for 4/5 of this house, it means that we're one month closer to bulky sweaters, but it also means that mine and my husband's wedding anniversary is just around the corner. Our 10th wedding anniversary. This feels like a big one to me. Not just because it's 10 years, but maybe because there were several moments within these 10 years that I wasn't sure we would last to this milestone. In fact, I would have bet good money that we wouldn't.
Our meeting and subsequent dating are kind of odd in our somewhat limited circle in that, we didn't know each other well before our first date. We actually had only really met once....and it was kind of a horrible first meeting. We weren't good friends, we didn't meet online. You get the idea. I was 20 when we met. 20! Just a baby! I was still a high school student, I know, it took me a little longer than others. I was a moody, dreamer who was in and out of heartbreak with whatever boy had wronged me in that moment. Aaah, memories. And here was this guy, a guy I'd seen before. A guy who had never spoken a word to me, but I remembered him as "the guy who wouldn't stop staring at me at that one bbq" Yeah, not really a glowing recollection. The first time we actually spoke was at 2am on January 1st 2004, and he was incredibly intoxicated, and inviting me to spend the night with him with my dad standing 2 feet away. I had no intention of talking to this guy again. Who knew, that 2.5 years later we'd be engaged with a child? Certainly not me!
I agreed to go out with him when he called me the following week, because I am incapable of saying no. And every single day I'm so happy that I agreed to that first date. From the second he showed up at my door with a bouquet of candy flowers, because the flower shops were closed, I knew he was special. We spent the next several hours just hanging out and talking, getting to know each other. 2 weeks later we were talking about moving in together. It was a whirlwind. We went from that meeting on January 1st, to moving into our very first apartment together in July of that same year.
We didn't do anything according to a proper timeline. Everyone around us told us we were moving too fast. Nobody, including Rob thought I'd be able to live away from my mom, and I'll admit, that was the hardest part. We both knew that we were in it for the long haul. We were immediately talking about starting a family. Nobody could convince us to slow down, we knew what we wanted.
In 2006 Ciena was born, and that's when we both started struggling with how drastically our lives had changed. We were so young, we didn't really think any decisions through, we just leapt. We were trying to find our new roles in this relationship, which was difficult. I was no longer working, and with that had to deal with not having an income of my own. Rob struggled with trying to understand what kind of toll being at home all day with an infant took on me, and my personality. There were fights, big ones. But, we managed to make it through. By 2012, we were married with 3 kids. After many, MANY disagreements, we understood each other....or pretended to.
I think of all the things that we went through together. Miscarriages, mental health issues, drinking, moving. Things that destroyed little parts of us and our relationship. Situations that we sometimes had to claw to get out of. We discussed divorce more than once. But through it all, one thing remained. We wanted to be together. That has always been the constant.
This man tries me every single day. Sometimes it amazes me that we ended up together in the first place. But, there are also a million reasons why I know he's the one for me. He once drove 30 minutes to bring me a spare key for my car when I locked my key inside. He has coffee waiting for me every Saturday morning. He spends the weekend with my dog (who hates him) while I'm at my mom's. He always lets me pick the movie. And he still tells me every single day how much he loves me and how beautiful he thinks I am. I know I am a difficult person to love. I have zero chill, I am always operating at a 10, and I am insanely argumentative. So, I have to remind myself sometimes, that no matter how shocked I am that I put up with this man, I should be equally shocked that he puts up with me.
Marriage is never easy, and sometimes things do fall apart, and that's okay. But, I am thankful that I have this man. I am thankful that he knows me so well, I am thankful that he is my children's father. But, most of all, I'm glad that we're both still willing to be here together.