What You Don’t See

Thirteen years ago, I woke up to the gray pattering of rain.  Yellow leaves spun and twirled to the ground.  I sipped my coffee and prayed for the rain to stop.  I had a big day ahead. 

Just a few hours later, I married The Man.  And now, I sit here, trying to think of some way to put thirteen years into a few paragraphs.  That is rather impossible, I suppose. 

I could say that a snapshot of my life looks rather what I imagined it would look like…  The house.  The kids.  Me and The Man.  But that snapshot is just a picture.  And behind that picture is a story of all that two people go through to come to the point, thirteen years later, when that picture is taken.     

It is Barbados.  Cobbler’s Cove.  Rum punch.  And nothing to do all day.

It is Coco, who really taught us how to parent. 

It is Hokie games. 

It is dreaming of our children.  And the birth of those four children. 

It is watching your toddler son recover from a stroke.  Learn to roll over again.  Learn to sit again.  Learn to walk again.  Learn to run. 

It is the special need of another son.  Helping him to hear.  To speak.  To listen.  It is watching him soar. 

It is miscarriages. 

It is losing Coco. 

It is our first home.  And leaving our first home. 

It is finding our forever home.  And trying to rid that forever home of it’s ant infestation.  

It is families.  And it is saying goodbye to some of those that we hold the most dear.

It is friends.  BBQs.  Fireworks.  Happy hours. 

Vacations at the beach.  Camping.  The cabin. 

Collecting acorns. 

Spiders in our ears. 

Carving pumpkins. 

Jumping in piles of leaves.  And being stung by bees for hours afterward.

Turkeys.  Cutting down our Christmas trees.  And decorating them.

And Christmas Eve masses. 

And paper valentines. 

And Easter egg hunts. 

And Easter Sunday bonnets and gingham bow ties.  

It is spring walks to the river.  

It is first steps.  First words.  Lost teeth.

And oh the tantrums.  And the kisses.  The hugs.  Tears.  Laughter.

The soccer games.  Baseball games.  Football games.  Basketball games.

The flu. 

It is coming to compromises.  You get your hoop in the driveway…I get my dog.

It is sipping wine on the stoop and together, watching the neighborhood nod off. 

It is all the dreams I have of a future with him. 

We are different now, thirteen years later.  Our life is different.  It is not exciting…it is not flashy and new.  It is worn, and comfortable and it fits.  It is soft.  Mostly, this life brings the greatest joys I have ever known. 

That is thirteen years.

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What You Don’t See

14 thoughts on “What You Don’t See

  1. You’ve brought tears to my eyes and down my cheeks.

    Happy Anniversary – a beautiful testament to your 13 years together. Your way with words never fails to touch me.

  2. karen says:

    you captured it … such a moving post! i shy away from the big ones, fearing my words won’t do a topic justice. ahhh, but your words flipped on the film projector in my mind. i can just see the years whirling by. all beautiful and messy. Happy Anniversary!

  3. Erika says:

    I was touched, of course, but I have to admit that the spider in the ear stood out the most! I don’t know that there is another story out there that has given me the physical heebie jeebies like that one! 🙂 Happy Anniversary…

  4. I drove two hours last weekend to see my best friend Holly, who I named my youngest after. I try to go as much as I can, because her daughter grows too fast and Holly is my sounding board in life. We sat in her kitchen, with me reading your blog to her while she copied recipes out of my casserole cookbook. We both love this one, and I just wanted you to know that your words and stories were with us. Happy Anniversary.

  5. Happy belated anniversary! Your blog always reminds me that family doesn’t have to be “ideal” or “extraordinary.” Life is meant to be “wprn…comfortable.” Thanks for the reminder today.

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