7: Happy Anniversary

7: Happy Anniversary

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

Happy Anniversary

Now the thing about having a baby — and I can’t be the first person to have noticed this — is that
thereafter you have it.

~Jean Kerr

Seven years ago, at this very hour, my new husband, Craig, and I were dancing at our wedding reception. We danced and visited with our guests until it was time to climb in our limousine and ride to the hotel.

We spent the night at a Holiday Inn and the next morning, we flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica to stay at a beautiful, all-inclusive resort. Our honeymoon was fantastic. The weather was perfect, the resort was gorgeous, and the locals were friendly and accommodating. We could not have asked for a better week. We were sad to leave and on our departing flight, we vowed to return one day.

Over the past seven years, we have made it a point to do something special on our anniversary. One year we traveled to Vermont; another year we went to Nassau, Bahamas; and three years ago, we spent our special day in Flagstaff, Arizona as part of a whirlwind trip to the Grand Canyon.

We enjoy travel, we love adventure, and we cherish our time together. But we are also realistic and we know that we cannot afford a big vacation for every anniversary, especially in a year in which we gained a new family member.

This year, we were blessed with our beautiful baby boy, Evan. He is the joy of our lives and also a major expense. So, needless to say, we weren’t planning an elaborate anniversary trip to the Caribbean or a trek across the United States. We did, however, hope to celebrate with a nice dinner and a glass of wine.

If there is one lesson we have learned in seven years of marriage, it’s that things rarely go as planned. We have missed weddings because of illnesses. We have canceled a camping trip because of a death in the family. Our cars and major appliances have all conspired to break down at the most inopportune times. On Evan’s first Christmas, we sat shivering in our snow-covered home while the repairman worked to restore our heat. Craig and I are not strangers to inconvenience.

So, it is only fitting that on our seventh anniversary, instead of dining on a juicy filet or a succulent lobster tail, we are wrestling our eight-month-old in an effort to get the antibiotic down his gullet. Right now, Evan is winning and the medicine is all over the carpet.

Our baby became sick two days before our anniversary. After one misdiagnosis and two visits to the doctor, we know that Evan has an ear infection and we have started treatment. He should be well in a few days, but our anniversary night is not as we envisioned.

We are regularly checking Evan’s temperature, administering Tylenol, and giving him cool baths to keep him comfortable. He finally starts to yawn while I rock him and sing him soft, familiar lullabies. I take him to his room and place him in the crib.

When I return, Craig has poured wine into the glasses we drank from on our wedding night. We toast to our seven, wonderful years together as we look through our wedding albums and remember our special day.

Craig and I talk late into the night about how special this anniversary is. It is our first one as parents. We are a family and we are figuring things out. We have learned that air conditioners freeze up on the hottest day of the year, heaters fizzle out on the coldest, and cars break down right before vacations. We know that children are not born with calendars or clocks, and they cry when you’re tired, they scream in the middle of restaurants, and they even get sick on your anniversary.

Because I married the perfect man for me, most of these circumstances are laughable, at least in retrospect. We kiss and say goodnight and Craig gets up to turn off the television. At that moment, an ad plays for a luxury resort in the Caribbean. We smile and head upstairs. I go to bed happy and grateful. My daily life may not always go as planned, but my marriage is exactly what I wanted.

 

~Melissa Face

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