Monday, for the first time, my three older children were all out of the house, working. The older two headed out first thing in the morning, and then right after lunch I dropped my younger daughter off at the horse farm. She has been begging—begging—to have a job. Her mantra: I’ll do anything to just get out of the house. Monday was her first afternoon. I was eager to learn how it went. Did she fight with her sister? Did she apply herself? Would she be ready to throw in the towel? (Answers, respectively: no, yes, and absolutely not. Whoop!)
Of course, send the three older kids off to work and the youngest one is bound to feel left out. “Can I call Papa to see if I can go work?” he pleaded.
My husband, bless his heart, said yes. There were only a couple hours left in the work day and his job was in a remote setting and close to home. “Besides, it’s our anniversary,” my husband reasoned to me over the phone. “A couple hours of free time is my treat to you.”
When I pulled up to the job site to drop our son off, my husband walked around to my window. “I shouldn’t have scheduled that meeting with customers this evening,” he said. “I’m sorry. When I said yes, I had forgotten it was our anniversary.”
“That’s okay. I kind of forgot it was our anniversary, too. All we’re having for supper is leftovers.”
We fist bumped and I drove off, laughing. Such a team, we are. Nineteen years together and we eat leftovers to celebrate.
Actually, no. That’s not true. We ate the brown rice and curry in order to empty out the fridge and fill our bellies. There was nothing celebratory about that meal, just ask the kids.
Later, though, after the children were in bed, we snuggled on the couch while watching a show, and, when I licked my chocolate peanut butter ice cream right off the cone and into my lap (!), my husband straight a-way jumped up to fetch me a washcloth. True love, that.
This photo, taken by our younger son when we were in NY, is a pretty good illustration of our individual personalities and relationship.
Me: upbeat, needy, and demanding.
Him: long-suffering, reliable, and resistant.
Our relationship: the two of us, so totally different, smashed tight together.
So about that (non) celebratory anniversary dinner? The way I see it, there’s plenty enough celebration in the simple comfort of ordinary togetherness. The relaxed supper of leftovers at the nineteen-year mark is just icing on the cake.
This same time, years previous: the quotidian (8.25.14), don’t even get me started, atop the ruins, tomato jam, on not rushing it, basic oatmeal muffins, chocolate malted milk frosting, earthy ponderations, part three, and odds and ends.