Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Joel!

This is the man I married nearly 17 years ago. Our first date was just a bit more than 19 years ago. I’m happy to report that it’s still going strong.

He usually takes very goofy pictures like this:

There’s something about having a camera in front of his face that brings out the goofy mischievous side of him. I finally had to tell him that “we deserve to have some good pictures of you!” I’m still working on that.
My favorite picture of us:
This was taken when we went to Boston in May 2006. What a great trip! I am longing for another—especially another trip with him. We usually get away for a bit around our anniversary but circumstances prevented that this year. I didn’t realize what a touchstone those trips were for me until I found myself yearning for a getaway with him this spring. Circumstances have yet to materialize to make that possible. It seems we’ll have to make our own.

I love being married to him. Even with the goofiness and so on, being married to him is such a wonderful place to be. Occasionally I dream a night that something terrible has happened to him and I am now alone in the universe. I had such a dream last night. Half asleep, I reached across the bed to make sure he was there and instead of his sleeping form my fingers closed around the small toy left there by my six-year-old when he took himself to his own bed. “It’s okay,” I reassured myself, “he’s just downstairs.” But it was 1:30 in the morning and my paranoid self rules that hour of the night. Half asleep, I reached over again to see if anything had changed. Still nothing. Now my paranoid self was fully awake even though the rest of me was asleep and was imagining all sorts of horrors, from being caught in a videogame world to a heart attack on the couch just as he was coming to bed. I was left with no choice but to stumble to the top of the stairs and whistle our special “I love you” whistle and then listen for the right response. He was alive and well and all was right in my world. My rational self was now able to take over and put my paranoid self in its place and go back to sleep.

I don’t have any big secrets to a long and lasting relationship. It’s full of ups and downs. I do know this though—it’s easier when you grow together. When the rocks in his head fit the holes in my head. I know that I could ask him for anything and he would do everything in his power to provide it for me. So I try not to ask. And I try to give enough back to him on a daily basis to stay worthy of the asking, should I decide that I need to. It works for us.

It’s his birthday soon. He’ll be the same number as I am. He loves to lord it over me during those three months or so between our birthdays that I am, indeed, his “old lady.” I stopped being bothered by that awhile ago, but I play along—it’s fun to be all harrumphy about it, and besides, soon enough, the calendar catches up to him and all is somewhat equal again.

We are good together. I’d choose him again. Each time. Every time. I look forward to our future together.





4 comments:

Janet said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Joel! Wishing you all the best!

Carol said...

That is a great picture of you guys - you look just the same as in high school. What's your secret? And I agree - it's the greatest to be married to your best friend!!!

Alison said...

I saw this man at cub scout camp. You know he's a good egg if he spends a hot Friday with a bunch of rowdy boy scouts.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Satina said...

Beautiful post. You are so good with words. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOEL! Thanks for the yummy ribs!