I was a late bloomer. My hormones didn’t kick in the same time as every one else’s. When girls and boys were “dating”, I was at home baking brownies and playing cards with my family. I was okay with that. It all seemed very dramatic and complicated. I didn’t even have my first kiss until I was almost seventeen. And that innocent peck stirred up a whole myriad of confusion. Don’t get me wrong. I had crushes. Boys I thought were cute that gave me butterflies in my stomach. I even went as far to tell my best guy friend’s mother in third grade that I was going to marry her son. But instead I married my high school sweetheart. He was the one that changed everything. I went from being shy and backward to just the opposite. I aggressively pursued him. It was like I knew he was just the right one and I couldn’t let him get away. Of course, everyone thought we were crazy; way too young to be getting married. We didn’t wait long to start our family. We have two beautiful daughters, now thirteen and ten. We’ve been married fifteen years. Wow. Fifteen years. I think back to when I was fifteen, just two years older than my eldest daughter, and it feels like an eternity.
Being married is wonderfully worthwhile, but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy breezy. I think you have to love yourself, love your spouse, and love your marriage and the life you build together. Things change as time passes. It is inevitable. I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and find it hard to recognize the person I see. My features are softer and my figure curvier, but I consider myself one of the lucky ones for having a husband who has grown with me and appreciates me exactly the way I am. He laughs as I examine the gray starting to show in my hair because he is salt and pepper too. We’ve shared sleepless nights worrying together, so we’ve earned them like a badge of honor. The intricate roadmap on my stomach from pregnancy is never seen as anything other than the miracle of creating our family. We accept each other’s imperfections and try not to sweat the small stuff. We embrace our differences and try to laugh together as much as possible because it’s not all about flowers and romance. It’s about not forgetting to pick up something from the store on your way home, taking turns rocking your sick child, and taking out the trash without being told five hundred times. Living the fairy tale doesn’t mean that every day realities disappear. It’s a precarious balance.
I’ve been sentimental the last few weeks. I’m so blessed to have found the right life partner. My wish would be that everyone has an opportunity to find a special someone to walk through this journey that we call life.