It wasn't our best morning. The girls were tricky. There were tears. They didn't want to eat breakfast. Big Girl said her bacon wouldn't swallow. Little Girl must be getting a third tooth because she was a weepy mess. Middle Girl threw a tantrum about her Dora umbrella, bringing her big sister to tears. More. And you and I raced by each other, tending to the chaos we have created. I picked clothes, you made lunch, we packed bags. At the end of it all, we made it out the door. Another day begun.
I didn't have a chance to pull you aside. To look into your eyes, big and blue and bequeathed to our marvelous and maddening girls, and say it, We met ten years ago. Because, yes, this is the day. December sixth.
I remember bits and pieces of that day. I was in my second year of law school. Exams were approaching. The weather was doing its trademark dance between balmy and blustery. My girls and I decided that we would have one last night out, one night of wine and abandon, before buckling down and learning the law. I remember what I wore. All black. Black pants and a black sweater. I also wore a black belt with big white stars. It was a good night. A night full of friendship and laughter and life. We traveled in our little pack from bar to bar along Columbus. Under twinkling lights. Along cracked sidewalks. And it got late. And we almost called it a night. But we didn't. We decided to go for one last glass.
Prohibition. We walked in and it was dark, quite empty. There were two guys standing by a pillar. One guy was very cute. That guy was you.
And we ordered more wine. Wine we didn't need. And suddenly you were there, by my side, talking to me. It's a funny story how you made your way to me, a story I've told many times, a story I cherish more than most. But what matters is that you were suddenly there, inches from me. We talked about school and soccer and the big city. We talked about September 11th because I had been here on that day, and you had just moved here after that day. We talked and talked and talked. It turned out that the night was in fact just beginning.
So was a life. Our life.
Babe, I think about that day often. That day in December ten years ago. I think about it because it seemed so accidental, such a product of chance. What if I had gone home to bed? What if I had woken up the next day and continued on as things were? What if?
I remember more than you know, I imagine. I remember the late night delivery of flowers and Mountain Dew. I remember that necklace you gave me on Christmas, mere weeks after we met. I remember eating omelets at Shining Star and telling you how much I loved your eyes. Those eyes our girls now have. Our three girls.
A decade later. We are here. In this good, and beautiful, and hard time of our life together. Our kids are young and we are tired, but I don't think I've ever felt this full, this happy. And I want you to know that. That despite the insanity of it all, this is downright exquisite. This life we have created. This complicated and compelling and koo-koo life. And to think it all started with booze and banter and the locking of blue eyes in a bar.
Just so you know, the morning continued on its course. In the taxi, Big Girl pointed to my coffee and asked why there was a three on it. And I told her it was because I have three girls. She smiled. Of course, it was because I need three shots of espresso to deal with my life. So, if you only had two girls then it would have a two on your cup? she asked, suspicious. And I went with it, indulging in this silly parental lie told for purposes of survival. And I wondered if we would arrive at the logical conclusion that childless people drink decaf, but then. Somehow, I managed to pour the entire thing onto my lap. Caffeine doesn't quite have the same effect when absorbed through jeans.
So now. I am here at another Starbucks. With my refill. Surviving. Smiling. Thinking of you, and this. This life. This love. This day.
Ten years, babe. Can you believe it?
If we had a sitter tonight, I'd drag you back to Prohibition. But we don't. And so. I will kick the toys aside, and curl up next to you on our cat-tattered couch and we will watch something on television. That sounds pretty good, too.
I love you. I'm so thankful I had my eyes, and heart open, that you were there. And that we are here.
How did you meet the person you love? Do you believe in fate or happy accidents? Do you think parenting small kids sometimes (or often, or always) interferes with proper articulation of affection? What were you up to a decade ago?
**I know I have been absolutely terrible about interacting here, but please comment and I will come visit you, or respond if you don't have a blog of your own. I am also planning to edit my blog roll in the weeks to come, so am looking for new blogs and to be reminded of oldies I love. I'm getting back in the groove here, kids. Or trying to!**