This past weekend Caleb and I celebrated five years since getting hitched. Five years since the 28 year-long dry spell of singleness ended. Now that’s a reason to celebrate! I have excelled at a few things in my life. Singleness wasn’t one of them. But that’s another story for another day. This seemed like an appropriate time to muse on the past five years of matrimony. Fear not, although we are very happily wed, this is not one of those ‘golden secrets to a happy marriage’ posts. There are a few memories and thoughts that pop out when I consider our shared life so far. So here ya go:
I will NEVER forget the day I discovered that at least half the world did something everyday differently to the way I had always assumed it should be. I can’t even remember how the conversation started, but it was the first year of our marriage, and we were in our bedroom talking about something to do with going to the loo. It may have been the time-old folding vs scrunching debate. I said something about standing to wipe, and Caleb just froze. His eyes went like saucers and he was like, “You stand to wipe?” Then my eyes went like dinner plates and I was like, “You SIT???!!” It. Was. So. Funny. Neither of us could stand. I don’t how long we laughed for, but I would be lying if I said a little bit of wee didn’t come out. (Also, if you didn’t know there are standers and sitters…you’re welcome).
When we first started dating Caleb had a secret he kept from me for months. He was so poor. Like putting petrol in his car with coins poor (and when gas runs at around $8 a gallon, that’s saying something). He had been given a contract at a small church for around 20 hours a week, but part way through they cut his hours in half. So he was like on minimum wage for 10 hours a week. I’ll let you do the math. But I had no idea. He would buy me coffees. He would pay for dinner. He bought me a CD because I mentioned I liked a song. Then the rest of the week he was literally eating rice and soy sauce. To this day it makes me want to cry! It was the sweetest thing, and so true to who I know him to be. He loves it that I had no idea. I’m glad he found another job soon after. Because it would have been challenging dating a guy with scurvy.
One of the most precious photographs I have ever seen is one of Caleb sitting in a hospital corridor in blue scrubs holding our wee Judah just after his birth. Because of the emergency situation, I was under a general anaesthetic and Caleb wasn’t allowed in the theatre. So the first parent to cuddle Judah was Caleb. In the photo, Judah is just staring at his D. I know it sounds a little silly, but I feel so grateful that because I wasn’t able to be there, Caleb was. There’s no one else in this world I would rather have give our kiddo his first cuddles in this life. It was also awesome because when I came around in recovery, Caleb was sitting beside me in scrubs. I have always had a thing about doctors. I’m pretty sure my first words were, “Is that my baby? You look hot…” (Then I ate some McDonalds, which is contraindicated immediately after undergoing surgery. But so worth it.)
Many of you will know about Caleb’s accident, but two years after we were married, and when I was seven weeks pregnant, Caleb got impaled on steel rebar at the building site. That also is a story for another day, but one of the sweetest moments of the whole thing occurred when I was able to visit him in recovery. Caleb was lying in a big room, hooked up to a bunch of machines, and empty except for him and a recovery nurse monitoring his vitals. He was all painted bright pink from the iodine, and there was a metal rod wrapped in plastic lying beside him. Which was so weird. Like who thinks an impalee would want to keep a souvenir of the big day? After we talked for a bit, another medical professional came in and asked the nurse how he was doing. She mentioned that he was holding steady, “Except his tachycardia went up when his wife walked in.” It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that I can still make his heart race after a lifesaving surgery.
We don’t really fight at all. I’m not holding that up as the gold standard of marriage, we just really aren’t fighters. We discuss things when they need to be discussed, things are sometimes a bit weird or tense, but generally we feel pretty lucky that our personalities seem to just click. We do however have an ongoing thing where we’re very aware of each others hypocrisies. Mostly to do with farting. It amazes me that after five years it is still a thing, but it so is. When I fart, it’s hilarious. Sometimes I just start laughing, and Caleb’s like, “Did you fart?” When he farts it’s as if I’ve been mortally wounded. I’m like, “Babe!! That. Is. DISGUSTING!! Omygosh. GROSS! Open a window. That’s not okay!” He calls me out on my hypocrisy and I’m just like, “I know.” We have this conversation about twice a week.
I think the thing that amazes me most about Caleb, is that he has never tried to change me. I have never met anyone who just accepts me fully and doesn’t try to alter aspects of who I am. In pondering that, I think it’s when we are attempting to get others to meet our needs that we try and get them to be different. We hope other people will fill the gaps in our lives, and when they don’t, we want them to change. I guess Caleb is really secure. And I am so grateful. I’m slowly learning to be more like that too. So here’s to you babe. You’re the best gift to me, and I la you to the moo and back.