I forgot my eighth wedding anniversary. It was on Tuesday and I had no clue until my aunt texted me congratulations. Honestly, even if I had noticed the date, I’m not positive that I would have recognized its significance.
I’d blame it on sleep deprivation brought on by someone’s teethy sleeplessness, but I know that’s not the only reason. Instead, I know two other holidays eclipsed it in my mind: Father’s Day and Sprout’s first birthday. Sprout’s due date was the day after our anniversary. Instead, he arrived five days later, at 3 pm on Father’s Day. Preparing for these holidays, I bought Chris a Father’s Day gift, decided where we were going to eat brunch, ordered Sprout’s birthday gift and planned his birthday party. My mind was so occupied with making these new holidays special that our anniversary didn’t cross it at all.
Thankfully, Chris made up for my deficiency and wasn’t disappointed at my incompetence. I suspect he was a little thrilled that he was more on top of something than I was. While we usually go to a really fancy restaurant, neither of us made reservations and we still haven’t found a trusted babysitter anyway. Instead, we found a little Latin American place in an industrial looking part of town with amazing authentic food. I had the best chimichanga I’ve ever had and Chris had steak with tomatoes and onions. While we brought Sprout’s dinner, he also enjoyed beans and rice off of my plate, as well as a tortilla chip, even though he tried to eat it sideways. Rather than a place where people would look askance at bringing a baby, our waitress and fellow patrons were totally charmed by Sprout and his big blue eyes. It was a wonderful family dinner.
When we got home, I put Sprout to bed then and read the Interwebs for a while, like any other night. Chris kept asking when I’d be done, but I thought he just wanted me to watch Wil Wheaton’s new show with him (yes, we are uber-nerds). Instead, his supposed act of “putting the kettle on for tea” was a feint. He was actually pulling an adorable tiny ice cream cake out of the freezer! Who knew Ben & Jerry’s made 2-person cakes? He remembered me talking about wanting ice cream for the last week (damn you Ben & Jerry’s ads on the Metro) and ordered the cake the day before. Because it was too little to write “Anniversary,” it said, “Happy 8th” with a heart. He even bought me a card, something he hasn’t done in ages. I was terribly impressed with his thoughtfulness.
Overall, it was a really good day to celebrate a really good year together. Some moms say they resent their spouse after giving birth, but I (almost) never did. Chris has offered everything he has in the last year, always being there when I needed him, even when it involved puking, sleeplessness, or hospitals. He held my hand through all of labor and metaphorically hasn’t let go. We’ve supported each other, offering encouraging words when the other person has the “I suck” monster running loose in their head. We see each other more than we have in years and work to both carve out time to be with each other and be alone. He’s even gone on multiple bicycle rides with me, which is a major sacrifice for him. And we’ve both learned to trust ourselves and each other more than ever before, even when the situation seems helpless. I haven’t actually read his book (yet), but this quote from Jason Good is totally true: “When your co-parent says, ‘Come help me,’ what she or he really means is, ‘Please join me in suffering through this situation neither of us can control.'” As frustrating as the situation can be, for me, the key there is “together.” Because I can’t imagine doing this – the good and the bad – without my husband and would never, ever want to. I married Chris in part because I knew I wanted to experience all sorts of adventures with him and this is the ultimate one.