It has taken many years to get where we are today. The learning curve was steep. We were newlyweds learning how to be married. How to be husband and wife. And now 12 years later, here we are. Wiser. Slightly more crazy. More in love today than we were 12 years ago.
We learned to work as a team. Mostly, I learned to listen and follow instruction. To test how well a couple teams up give them a brand new BBQ in 50 pieces and poorly written instructions. The good ones will have it together in an hour laughing along the way. The ones who are still learning? Both will argue that their way is right. Both will give instructions. Neither will listen. The marriage will dissolve and someone will be threatened to be beaten to death with the unbuilt BBQ. It’s the same with furniture assembly and vacation planning.
Twelve years has taught us (me) that listening, not just hearing, is as important as doing. Of course, being weak to her Mind Tricks helps.
Twelve years is a long time to be with the same person. You learn to find your own version of normal. It’s buying your own anniversary present because your wife is sick with the flu and can’t get out. It’s playing with said present (Bop It) and dancing like a drunk June bug to make her laugh. It’s knowing who is going to jump on the trampoline with the kids and who is going to plan the birthday party.
Kids have a tendency to make you a bit crazier than usual, too. Whether they entice you onto the kitchen dance floor, adorn you with macaroni jewels, or just plain refuse to go to sleep, you will find your own crazy and you will embrace it. Wear it proudly as if it were a crown.
We have learned what sacrifices the other has made to help the family. Whether it was a move or using birthday money to pay a bill or going without sleep because of a sick kid, hungry infant, or worry. We learn to see what we do for each other. Whether it’s simple things like cooking, cleaning, or entertaining the kids. Or it’s big like planning a big party, support through a tough time, or a surprise outing. Also, having kids gives us a common enemy goal.
Though all we have learned over the past 12 years (14 if you count when we first met), I have learned the most. Some how I have hunch I’m not yet done learning.