Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sweet 16

It's often said that time flies when you're having fun. So as my wife and I woke up this morning, 16 years after we were married, the first thought that occurred to both of us was how fast it all seems to have gone.

Bleary-eyed, I headed downstairs and stopped halfway down the stairs to peer out over the living room and try to put it in perspective. I saw three children playing and a dog wandering between them. They were speaking quietly to each other, filling the room with the kind of weekend-morning banter that makes a house a home.

It was one of those Rockwellian moments that have always seemed to be a part of our little suburban life. I quietly sat on the stairs and tried to remember back to a time when life wasn't like this. I couldn't.

I couldn't remember what this world - our world - was like without these three little extensions of us, without the uniqueness each of them brings to our home: Zach's wicked sense of humor and fast-emerging view of the world. Dahlia's empathetic serenity and kindness and Noah's never-ending sweetness and energy. On this day 16 years ago, they were mere glimpses in our future, yet I couldn't, from my perch on the staircase, remember life without them.

In my mind, they've existed forever. We created them, their memory, their impact on the planet, when we decided to start a family. And I'm not afraid to admit that there are days when I wonder whether we've bitten off more than we can chew, whether we're up to the challenge of shepherding them into adulthood, whether I'm good enough to be their dad and my wife's husband.

But as I padded back upstairs and tucked myself back in next to my wife, I stared at her for a bit and realized that she's always been all I've needed. That's the way it's always been: she grounds me. I don't remember life before her, and can't imagine a life any different than the one we've built since that magical day 16 years ago.

Saying thank you to whatever powers-that-be that put me here doesn't seem adequate. I don't know what I did to deserve any of this, but I'm perfectly happy to revel in it for as long as I possibly can. Life is good because she decided to navigate it with me.

One more thing - If you want to go back in time, click on these anniversary-themed links:
Your turn: What are you celebrating today?

18 comments:

Canadian Mark said...

As somebody in an industry of romance and passion, I must say that was a really beautiful post filled with wonderful sentiment.

Congratulations on 16 years!

smarmoofus said...

I would wish you a happy anniversary, but I don't think it's necessary. It sounds like you already fully appreciate life's happiness. So, instead, I will join Mark in offering my congratulations to you for recognizing what you have... and having it. May we all be so fortunate to get that out of life.

-smarmoofus

craziequeen said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Deb, Carmi.

Your post has summed up the magic of life that is missing from so many of our lives...

Always love your children, be ready with a kind word and a comforting hug, no matter what, and you'll be a good dad.

cq

kenju said...

HAPPIEST of ANNIVERSARIRES, Carmi and Morah Mommy. You two are the luckiest people on earth!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Happy anniversary, Carmi! Sixteen years is no small feat. You're right; revel in it.

Here's to 16 (and more) to come.

janbran said...

I came to visit on a good day (or a day after). Happy anniversary. I love the tribute, too!:)

R. Sherman said...

Congratulations!

It only gets better.

Have a great day!

Sara said...

What a wonderful tribute to 16 years of marriage...and how fortunate you are to know how wonderful your life is...there are so many out there that never realize what they have...

My congratulations to you and your lovely wife...and family!!!!

Beverly said...

It is wonderful to see that the magic is still there after sixteen years. You are a blessed man, indeed, but I do believe you are a key ingredient to the success. May you have many more.

Cherish each day.

This fourth I had some friends over to celebrate the holiday. I hadn't really done much cooking for a while, and as the anticipation of the day came, an old excitement built up within me, remembering the days when we had a houseful of company, laughing and enjoying the good times. It did indeed invoke wonderful memories.

jel said...

Happy Anniversary,

hope ya have many many more to come!

photowannabe said...

The happiest of anniversaries ever Carmi and to your lovely wife.
This is such a lovely, romantic love song to your other half.

creme brulee aka GH said...

i think a lot is said in five words:

"stopped halfway down the stairs"

the ability to stop, observe, think, appreciate and reflect helps us to maintain and develop a sense of love, loyalty and longevity.

gh

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Congratulations Carmi....A VERY VERY HAPPY 16th ANNIVERSARY to you and your loving wife! May you have 16 times 6 more years together, plus another 16 after that! (lol)

Evey said...

Happy anniversary. I LOVED this post. I really felt your love for your wife and kids while reading this.

Congrats!

Steph said...

Oh Carmi...I can't remember which year it was, but I remember a previous post about your anniversary and feeling so happy for you two. I love the solidarity, the loyalty, the digging in of heels and raising your family together with such love. From the bottom of my heart, congratulations! And I've said this before, but reading your posts about your wife and family makes me hold out for only the best.

Heidi said...

Another comment to you with heartfelt congratulations... this post is an outstanding tribute to your marriage and family.

Blessings to you and your wife for many more years together!

Bunny Trails said...

Happy happy anniversary! Your thoughts are quite lovely. :D

Holly Schwendiman said...

How awesome. This past May was our sweet 16 too! It's a great journey when you're with a wonderful companion. Kuddos!

Hugs,
Holly