Three years ago, I was fighting off panic attacks and an IBS flareup, stepping into my wedding dress, trying not to mess up my hair. It was gorgeous outside, and warm, and it smelled like summer. I had hydrangeas in my bouquet. I was getting married.
|Despite my deer-in-headlights look, I was actually pretty excited.|
Our wedding was the bomb, despite the anxious diarrhea and the uncontrollable, nervous sweating (TMI, but such is life with an anxiety disorder and PTSD. Did I use enough acronyms in that sentence? LOL WTF BBQ). The best part about our wedding was that Lou and I had been engaged for three years at that point, and as Catholics we had (somewhat reluctantly) agreed not to live together before marriage. Now was the culmination of three years of anticipation and we could finally finally finally FINALLY start living together (and, you know, like, live together, wink wink nudge nudge I’M TALKING ABOUT SEX SORRY FAMILY WHO READS THIS.) That day was exciting in so many ways. And also there was steak. Lots and lots of steak. And almost every member of our family. And our close friends. Dancing and eating steak. So maybe the best day ever?
(We had some pretty delicious chocolate cake, too. Just saying.)
Three years later, I’m nursing a sweet 3-month-old and my almost-two-year old is taking a nap. My life is so full and rich. Metaphorically rich. We’ve had at least $2k in car repairs in the past month and we’re still recovering from the month of unpaid leave that Lou took from work when Henry was born, and for the love of God, you guys, if you don’t have an emergency fund start one right this second because we would be so unbelievably screwed and in debt without one. But I digress. Apart from car repairs and NICU stays and other “character building” life events, our life together is really quite rich and full and happy.
I don’t write about Lou a lot on this blog. I’m hesitant to over-share — primarily because I think it would embarrass him, but also because our marriage is the most important thing to me in the world, and what we have is so unique and precious I’d probably ruin it with words. And try as I might, there’s no GIF to describe how wonderful of a match we are, or how happy he makes me, or how he helps me be a better person, in spite of myself. Nevermind, I found one:
We’ve started going to counseling together, every other week. Not because our marriage is in shambles or we can’t get along — on the contrary, we get along so well that he can make me laugh even when we’re fighting and I’m screaming at him in frustration — but because we need help working out some stuff that we can’t work out on our own. I can’t tell you everything. It’s really not even my story to tell. But I want to say publicly that I am so proud to be with someone who values his well-being and our marriage so much that he will voluntarily go to a counselor and do something that makes him incredibly uncomfortable — talk. About himself. To a stranger. And he does that for our sake. That is love.
Did you know when I was little — maybe nine or ten? — I wrote in my diary a list of qualities I wanted God to find for me in a husband. I wanted my future husband to know Jesus. I wanted him to love children. I wanted him to be hilarious and smart and loving and talented and crazy about yours truly, of course. Most of all I wanted him to encourage me, and just let me be who I am, warts and all, and see me at my worst and love me in spite of myself. And like every single other time in my life, I totally didn’t believe God would give me what I asked for as a child, in earnest. But He totally did. When we got married, in church, in front of the Eucharist, before hundreds of family members and friends, it was like God was saying, see how much I love you? I gave you all the things you asked for — and things you didn’t even know you wanted yet. And then, with our babies, it’s like our marriage is the gift that keeps on giving. I seriously sometimes want to say, okay, enough, God! This is too much! It is RIDICULOUS how blessed I am! What gives?
Three years after I put on that super heavy, super tight dress (and subsequently had a panic attack about not being able to get it off in time if I wanted to pee), I’m legit living the life that I dreamed I would someday live. I have two beautiful babies. They are hilarious and cute and I get to stay at home and enjoy every second of them. I get to write in my spare time and just have a tiny little perfect life with my best friend and our kids. It doesn’t get any better.
My life is the bomb and I have Lou to thank for it. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Thank you for our wonderful life, Lucius James!
(“Sweetie, can I write about our anniversary and how we’re in counseling right now?”
“Not a problem at all. If you wanted to throw in something about my weiner, that’d be cool too.”)