Thursday, July 26, 2012

Slobber Straps

My strappy sandals sometimes sport slobber stains.  It’s true!!  I have a penchant to open my mouth and insert a size 8 sandal….no notice……no warning signs…..I just talk happily away…chit-chat-chit-chat until my words drop to the ground with a THUD….and then…..awkward silence…people look away….silence….and then I realize that I have done it again….a witty remark is born in my brain, gives birth through my lips and like a rebellious teenager, goes where I did not mean it to go. 

Such an instance happened a few weeks ago.  Someone casually asked me, “How’s Married Life???”  In an effort to be “real” and “wise” and “profound,” I said, “well you know the first year is always the hardest year, but we are having a great time……” The exact words are banished from my mind forever and replaced with the subtle taste of The Body Shop peppermint foot oil. 

What I meant to convey is that The Man and I are crazy happy, we’ve made it through the challenges of blending a family of six kids, navigated the land mines of raised toilet seats, schedules, dinner times, toothpaste brands and my endless collection of shoes beautifully displayed on the kitchen floor.  We made it!!  We still love each other---and like each other.  The challenges of the first year made us better communicators, better listeners and has given us a respect for each other’s feelings and opinions.  I could not imagine a better partner, a better friend and a better love than his. 

Blending a family is hard---good golly, it’s way harder than I imagined.  Teenagers like me---they have always liked me….but then again, they didn’t have to live with me.  I was always cool and fun (at least in my own mind) and offered wise words in a crisis.  Now, I sometimes look in the mirror to see if my leper’s spots have disappeared…… just sayin’.  Blending a life is hard---I am a morning person…..and The Man loves to sleep in……he loves his quiet time and my quiet time lasts about 30 seconds and then I am off to the chatty races.  But it works.  I have learned to keep my alligator mouth closed (to avoid the aforementioned peppermint taste) and to sometimes speak my mind with a confidence that only a trusting relationship can bring. 

This morning, I heard a song that I quoted in my marriage vows:

Stay with me
My love, I hope you'll always be
Right here by my side if ever I need you
Oh, my love

In your arms
I feel so safe and so secure
And everyday is such a perfect day to spend
Alone with you

I will follow you, will you follow me?
All the days and nights that we know will be
I will stay with you, will you stay with me?
Just one single tear in each passing year

With the dark
Oh, I see so very clearly now
All my fears are drifting by me
So slowly now, fading away

I can say
The night is long but you are here
Close at hand, oh, I'm better for the smile you give
And while I live

I will follow you, will you follow me?
All the days and nights that we know will be
I will stay with you, will you stay with me?
Just one single tear in each passing year there will be

How lucky I am to have a partner whom I can follow and who follows me back!!!  Every day is a perfect day to spend with him!  If I could reel back in that question about married life, I would answer it like this:

How lucky I am to find a partner who is willing to play with me, who is wise, patient and loving, and who cares deeply about his family.  I have learned to be more generous, more understanding and more……ME!  What a blessing it is to be fully me, fully seen, and fully loved.  We have had so many adventures already:  trekking through Costa Rica over suspended bridges and down waterfalls—chatting with monkeys, frogs and sloths.  We have bet on the loser at the Kentucky Derby, been on live television for our picnic fare at the Indianapolis 500, and dressed up as 80’s rockers for Halloween.  We left no Brunello behind while tasting through Tuscany and have sailed almost to Canada on a small sailboat---Our list of adventures could go on for pages. 

Yesterday, we were married one year and one month----blending is still difficult at times, we still disagree on the proper way to eat chicken legs and our dysfunctions sometimes bump into each other…..but I am truly having the time of my life with the Clyde to my Bonnie!!

Hopefully, my sandals will be safe……at least for a while.