Anniversaries used to mean the world to me. I wanted pomp and fanfare, poetic words of undying love, preferably original, but pre-printed in a meaningful card was good too. Flowers for sure, a nice dinner out and a gift couldn’t hurt.
For our first wedding anniversary, Josh gave me beautiful, delicate diamond earrings with a side of first trimester nausea. In response to the terrifying horror that was 9/11, we got pregnant. When our anniversary arrived in late October, I was in full on morning sickness all day long mode. We spent a lovely weekend at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay, me huddled in a robe staring out the window at the foggy beach and Josh enjoying the spa. I could barely move let alone be rubbed. The earrings were a good call.
Ella arrived the following June and honestly, I can’t remember another anniversary since that first one. Except the 10th one, which was when we unwittingly created Lilah who will soon be three. I’m not saying we didn’t celebrate or otherwise mark our anniversary. I know we did, often with cards, sometimes with flowers or jewelry or dinner out. Once Josh even wrote me a song and I’ve given him a poem.
Throughout the years, though, we haven’t always been able to muster an anniversary level of love exactly on the day. It’s challenging with three kids, work schedules and stresses and ordinary life demands. I’m not always in the mood and neither is he. We’ve even fought on an anniversary or two.
Whether out of necessity or simply because we both realize it’s sort of ridiculous to elevate a single day and pour all our love into it, we’ve adopted an ad-hoc approach to showing our devotion. It can happen anytime and without any warning. A sweet card left on the desk. An unexpected sparkly ring, given just because. A guilt-free weekend away with the boys or the girls. A massage appointment at the spa. These surprises come at just the right moments, when our tanks are low and we need to know that the other one notices.
Our love is there whether it’s our anniversary or not. It’s in the weekly rolling of the garbage cans to the curb, the walking of the dog at night when I’m too tired, the rounding up of three energetic kids on the weekend so one or the other of us can go to the gym. It’s in his big bear hug and my back scratching. It’s in the way he delights in the kids’ skiing or piano playing or my writing. It’s in the pride I feel when he passes a sailing test. It’s in the clink of ice in our Friday night gin and tonics served up in the gold-rimmed crystal glasses we got for our wedding almost 14 years ago.
I’m participating in the 2014 A to Z Challenge during the month of April using the very broad theme of LOVE to carry me through the alphabet. Check out writing by other bloggers taking on the #atozchallenge at @AprilA2Z.