Today my husband, Dan and I celebrated 13 amazing years together. It's surreal. I had no doubt in my mind that we would make it, but I don't think you can even wrap your head around 13 years together when you are young.
Last night while we were discussing how amazing it is to be married to me, I asked if he would like to renew our vows. He thought I said remove our bowels (another thing you don't know when you are young - that your man is going to be deaf one day). After I laughed for about 10 minutes, he told me he would prefer that to renewing our vows. I know, ladies. He is a romantic devil.
As with any celebration that marks the passing of time I began to reflect on the past and on our years together. It suddenly hit me how your definition of "romance" changes over time. I used to think it was romantic to get cards or flowers or jewelry for "gift-giving" occasions. Somehow the more material things I received the more it meant he loved me.
There were some years in the beginning of our marriage that we would make a big purchase for the house or go on a vacation in place of gifts for anniversaries or birthdays. However, when the actual birthday or anniversary came around I was devastated if I didn't get something. It seems so foolish and spoiled when I say it. I am embarrassed that I wasted time being mad.
Nowadays, romance for me has an entirely different definition all together. It's romantic to have a husband that loves you, supports you, and listens to you cry when you try month after month to conceive and can't. A true romantic cleans up after you when you finally do get pregnant but spend the entire pregnancy sick in bed.
Romance is when you are SO tired and depressed after the birth of your twins that your husband sacrifices sleep and life all-together to take care of you and your babies. It's romantic when he changes diapers, bathes kids, snuggles them and loves them.
A romantic man finds a way to comfort you after the death of his own mother. Often putting aside his grief to help you through yours. Years later this same man stands by you as you deal with the death of your own parent. Offering guidance, advice, a listening ear and a strong shoulder.
True romance is a husband who takes time out of his morning to prepare breakfast for his kids and helps get them out of the door. Then, turns right around and does the same thing at lunch.
People constantly tell me how lucky I am. Believe me, I know. I am blessed far beyond measure. Rare is the person these days who can say they are married to someone who supports them in anything and everything they do. I am fortunate to have found that in my spouse. I am also blessed that he loves me in spite of my faults and always makes me want to be a better person.
Thank you, Dan for the most amazing years of my life. I love you forever and always.