Nine years ago today was one of the happiest days of my life. I don't say the happiest day of my life because we have three daughters, and I think my wife will agree that the days they entered the world certainly give our wedding day a run for its money.
(Then again, the days our daughters entered the world were very different for my wife than they were for me...so maybe she does view our wedding day as the happiest day of her life, since no other humans emerged from her body that day.)
Anyway, the point is that today is our 9-year wedding anniversary.
It's not the most original of New Things, but each year deeper into marriage something comes along that I've never experienced before.
The obvious thing is the kids - when we got married in 2004, both my wife and I knew we wanted children. What we didn't know, of course, is that 9 years later we would have three girls. What we now know is that we won't be able to predict any of what our next twenty years or so will be like together, because almost everything we do together is dictated by those three girls.
And we love it that way.
It's kind of a cliche, but we won't be backpacking across Europe anytime soon...because that's the type of thing you sacrifice when you have 3 kids in a span of 5 years. Man. That seems kind of crazy. I've never actually written or said that before. The 3 kids in 5 years part. Not the backpacking across Europe part. Because, truth be told, that's not really our thing. We wouldn't have backpacked across Europe anyway. Maybe driven cross-country. That's what I want to do. But we can probably do that with kids anyway. Backpacking across Europe sounds like a real hassle to me.
I'm going to get real sappy here for a minute: My wife is the best. I know I'm not an easy person to live with. I am such a pest. And then there are the sports and other various obsessions. It's not everyone that could compete and coexist with the ridiculousness that is my day-to-day life.
But my wife does. And she actually encourages these, um, eccentricities. (Exhibit A: We saw the Mets play in Arizona on our honeymoon.) And she's managed to maintain what is kind of a delicate balance: She has nurtured these obsessions of mine while helping me to grow immensely as a person.
I shudder to think where I would be without her. She helped me see what I was capable of in my TV news career, and then when that was no longer fulfilling to me she helped me decide on and gave me the direction I needed to pursue my teaching career, which has lasted as long as our marriage.
A favorite question on anniversaries like this is, "Can you believe it's been 9 years?"
I kind of can't. They've been a bit of a flash. (Thinking about 9 years ago in Arizona I also have a comparative reference point: it certainly feels like 9 long years as a Mets fan.)
But I know this: anyone who knows my wife knows why those 9 years have been so happy.