You’ll have to excuse me from missing my Monday morning appointed blog time. Yesterday was 24 years for us. If you’ve been with me over the years you know that, as long as I’m here in Seattle, there’s not much that would keep me from Monday mornings at the beach. Even my birthday wouldn’t keep me away. My anniversary would though, and it did. No particular reason except that on this particular day of the year we choose to spend every minute of it together. We don’t work on that day. We aren’t apart on it either. This is non-negotiable. Neither of us would even consider being separated on that day. It has meant that we have spent the day together in some pretty unusual and interesting places. That wasn’t the case yesterday.
24 for us was a bit unusual though. We’ve been talking about it all year and yet it really took us by surprise. I spent last week beginning the new phase of my educational journey and this week my daughter begins the new phase in hers. Between those two consuming events and my wife in a walking boot, we really didn’t have the planning time in place to compensate and create some elaborate experience like past years have seen. We settled for doing what we know and do best, just spending time together. I’m not going to elaborate much at the risk of underwhelming you. Let’s just say the day involved some good coffee, a decent movie, a great dinner, a purchase for our kitchen and as much kissing and hand holding as we could tastefully fit in. We just spent the day centered only around us.
Now those of you who know that we already work together very closely might not find this all that unusual. I’m finding in year 24 that some of the secret to why we still rival couples on their honeymoon is that we are comfortable in our unstructured time together. Unfortunate for many that I know is the fact that their identities revolve around structured time. Life together has become all ballgames, recitals, holidays and family vacations. When the activity is over and the house is quiet, two strangers remain. Hopefully they are reintroduced and fall in love once again, but that’s not always the case. We’ve passed those years and unlike many of our contemporaries are excited about an empty nest, two people and an annoying cat in a four bedroom house, kind of life. I’m excited for our kids. They have new lives. They have new adventures. We are not “helicopter parents”, hovering over our children, forgetting that we ourselves have lives. We get to be stadium parents, and cheer them on, offering them encouragement and advice when they want it, but knowing that it’s their game now. 24 years ago we were on the same journey that they are now in the midst of. I miss it. I remember it. I wouldn’t want it back though for anything. What has happened during these past 24 years has shaped what we’ve become and enjoyed during these past 24 hours.
As part of my role in my community o’ faith, I have the honor of celebrating the beginnings of many journeys. Many that I encounter are amazed at the possibility of 24 years. I am saddened by this a bit. I don’t know what they’re thinking. Actually I do know. They are, in all probability, more consumed with the event of the wedding that they are with the lifestyle of the marriage. Call me ignorant, but I never entered in to this covenant wondering how long we could last. I went into it with an “Apollo 13” attitude of “failure is not an option”. I didn’t spend yesterday amazed that we had scaled some imposing summit that few have scaled before us. We just enjoyed each other and another day together. I do wish they’d slow just a bit though. 25 is just around the corner.