Sunday, 31 May 2009

It goes to 11 (but actually 860)


So one day and eleven years ago was the event. You wore white and surprised me with a bagpipe player. I think my favorite part of the day though, was when I first saw you. We were given “that moment” together in the sanctuary before pictures and I stood nervous down at the foot of the steps in this church we had grown up in, gotten engaged in, wanting this moment to be motion picture perfect. And then you bebopped into the room. You said,

“Hey babe!

And sauntered down the aisle like we were meeting for coffee or something, totally wrecking my movie moment, but totally making it one of the best memories of my life. That’s you…and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I couldn’t survive if it was any other way.

You are the freaking coolest wife ever. The deeper we get into this thing, the more I see how much I need you and how perfect you are for me. How whatever preconceived notions I might have had are ridiculous (and long gone). How God knows…He knows! What I need. He gave me you. I am thankful. I am grateful. I am blessed.

Another favorite memory: Closing on the Pebble Drive house. You turning your charm up to eleven to make the lawyer smile because this was a happy day for you and you weren’t going to let him kill your buzz.

When people I meet find out about the kids I say, “yeah. Shannon and I look at each other just about every day and say ‘we have a lot of kids.” I know we don’t say it so much any more, but I like saying it because it makes us sound like a team. The truth though, is that you do a lot more of the work for our team than I do (as I type this at The Dripolator in Black Mountain, NC!!!). And I want you to know how grateful I am for that. When it comes to our children, I would be lost without you. Yes I know how to change a diaper and I know how Jacob likes his waffles and that Lorelei likes her oatmeal dry and where the good spot on Asher’s Hard Blanket is. But it’s not about the stuff. It’s about how well you love them. Your attitude for them. I know very few moms who would: 1. Set up a four person tent in their living room and 2. Leave it up for a week so the kids could have a camp out in it. That’s a special kind of love. I know there are hard days and days you want to wring their necks, but we both know that’s just frustration with the moment, and has nothing to do with how you feel about them. I tell you this all the time, but I don’t know if you really hear me: I don’t care that the house isn’t spotless all the time. I don’t care that the laundry piles up or that this sink is full dishes. Because I know you’re coloring with Lorelei. You’re playing cars with Asher. You’re clapping with Piper. You’re loving our children—raising our family. That is so much more important than anything else! I can’t thank you enough for loving Jacob and Lorelei, Asher and Piper so well.

And now you’re mortified that OTHER PEOPLE are reading that our laundry isn’t done and our sink is full of dirty dishes. ATTENTION OTHER PEOPLE: LIFE IS HARD. IT IS NOT PERFECT. IT’S NOT A 30 SECOND COMMERCIAL FOR PINE-SOL OR DOWNY. LAUNDRY STACKS UP BECAUSE THERE’S A BASEBALL GAME AND GYMNASTICS AND CUB SCOUTS AND A BIRTHDAY PARTY AND NEIL GOES OUT OF TOWN A LOT. And we have a lot of kids who like to play with their mother.

There’s something to be said for your tolerance of Wagoneers and tattoos and failed businesses and Apple computers. But I’ve come to recognize that it’s more than tolerance. It’s your ferocious desire to protect the dreamer in me, even when it costs you. The beautiful thing is that I already see you doing the same for our kids. I don’t know how to thank you for this. I don’t know how you do it. I only know that your belief in me is the beginning of my confidence.

So all in all it’s been a pretty good eleven years (he says as an understatement with a dramatic lisp). The Student Life Years. The Starbuck’s Years. The 16 months on Lilac Circle. The 06 build. It’s made us stronger. I like to think it’s made us funnier (at least to each other). I love how much we make each other laugh these days. I love that I can’t wait to get home to see you.

I think back to that retreat we went on—the one where Wayne Baldwin told you I was a diamond in the rough and that you should give me a chance. I know I’m still pretty rough. But I know that whatever polishing I’ve been through I have you to thank.

I love you.


1 comment:

Todd said...

Congrats. To you both.

Seriously... I applaud you guys. And my hats off to you both. Still really thankful to have been there on the day and stood up for you. Seeing it, seeing you IN it - made me know this was something special you'd found. Someone special. And God made you for each other.

Bravo. And great post.