Today, December 21, I've been married for 21 years. Our wedding fell exactly 4 months after our first date. It was love (I mean, luuuuv!) back then, and it is today. We chose this date from a mixture of passion and practicality--it fell in the middle of Christmas break, giving us time to settle in as newlyweds before going back to teaching; it came at a time that would make it easy for family members to travel and attend; 12-21 just sounded cool. (Of course, we had our fair share of "Longest night of the year" wink, wink, nudge, nudge jokes.)
We went into this marriage thing as each other's best friend. Twenty-one years and three kids later, that has not changed. I still enjoy my Mikey's company far and above any other. I get a little thrill just driving to the library together. Nobody else can make me laugh like he does. I may very well be one of the few people who looks forward to the empty nest like it's a life-long trip to DisneyWorld.
Back when we stood at the front of that church and made our vows, Mikey had no idea what all he was getting into. He didn't know he was promising to spend the next 21 years tripping over the shoes I leave in the middle of the living room floor. I didn't know about his annoying habit of constantly locking doors. And neither of us knew that, during those seasonal transitional times, one of us would always be a little too hot, or a little too cold. We didn't know we'd lose a baby, miss a mortgage payment, or face a holiday without a complete set of parents. On the other hand, we couldn't have foreseen the joy of three healthy sons, a forgotten $20 bill found in a sock drawer, or a final car payment (even if the car is a Kia mini-van).
People will say that marriage is messy--and it is. But if you get the mess just right, it's the most fun two people can have. We'll be celebrating today with a Disney movie (Tangled) and maybe lunch somewhere. Our first date was lunch and a movie--Parenthood--so, it seems right. What I know for sure is that today will bring laughter, and a little complaining because it's too hot for December. Nothing spectacular, just ordinary. But, oh, how I praise God for ordinary days.