Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Save the last dance

Fourteen years ago tonight, I danced my first-ever dance with my wife. We had, of course, danced many times before, but never as husband and wife. That night, those two words were still a novelty to both of us. Within the blur that was our wedding, the newness of it all still hadn't sunk in.

According to Jewish tradition, we got married under the chupah. It's a covering of ornate cloth that's held up by four posts. The meaning is that you start with a roof, and you are now challenged to build a foundation and walls, and within them a strong home for your family.

I spent the day home from work today, an anniversary tradition that my wife and I have evolved in recent years. We went to the beach, another anniversary tradition, and spent a quiet day simply being with each other. We took the kids out to dinner to celebrate - they all do an excellent rendition of the Flintstones now-classic "Happy Anniversary" song - and as we came home, it suddenly dawned on me:

I watched our three munchkins stand on the porch of our home, and all I could think was this: we made all of this. We had them. We built that proverbial home. We carved out a life for us and for them. Everything arrayed before me at that moment hadn't existed when I danced with my wife that night.

Yet it all seems to have gone by in a blink.

Part of me feels I'm not doing a good enough job remembering the subtle thoughts and feelings of each day along our journey as a family. Another part of me says I shouldn't worry about the time-speed thing: time does, after all, fly when you're having fun.

And that's the bottom line in this magical adventure known as our marriage, our family, our life: I am quite obviously having fun. I can't help but feel that this is what I was meant to do, that this amazing woman and blazingly unique children were all meant to be part of my life; to in fact be my life.

The Yiddish word, bashert, is often heard in our home. It means fated; meant to be. She is. They are. We are. I am. Fourteen years in, I'm praying we have so many more years to appreciate everything we've built.

Your turn: If you've never e-met my wife before, you're missing out on an extraordinary individual, and I hope you take a moment to drop her a line. She makes me tick, keeps me focused and balanced, and inspires me to ignore what everyone else is saying and simply listen to my heart. Just what a writer needs if he's going to break paradigms and change lives.

On so many levels, I don't deserve all I have. Which makes me even more thankful that I do.


Young Lady said...

Thats hilarious about that damn Flintstone anniversary song! Our anniversary was on July 4th, (our loss of independence day) lol, and a friend of ours always phones us up and sings us that particular song. I wish you both a very Happy Anniversary and all the best to both of you in the years to come.
And yes you owe your wife everything! And don't you ever forget it either. I will so say hi to her on her blog.
On that note tell your readers 100 things about you Carmi

Star said...

What a lovely post. I giigle at the metal picture of your kids sining the "Happy Anniversary Song" My husband sings that to me on our anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

Juliness said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post. A much needed departure from the wife-as-ball-and-chain approach. It is evident that you are blessed to have each other.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary.

I think you do more than you give yourself credit for along with taking care of your family that you created there - you have also created a family out here who care and support you as well.

You focus so much energy on the importance of Family, how could you not do enough?


Anonymous said...

You are a sweet sweet man, Carmi.
Lots of love to you and your wife today.

Thumper said...

Happy anniversary!!! (a little late...sorry)

Sadly, it all does seem to go by fast. And the longer it lasts, the faster it seems to go... we're coming up on 25 years and I swear, it doesn't feel half that long...

kenju said...

A bit late, but Happy Anniversary Carmi! You of all people I know of, record the "subtle thoughts and feelings" of your family life in a way that hardly anyone else does. That's one of the reasons we like to read your blog so often!

Becky said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. I love reading about men that open up about how much they appreciate their wives.

Kara said...

I love this post, well "spoken"

Jennifer said...

Happy Anniversary!

I like the meaning of that tradition :)

Sarie said...

Mazel Tov, Carmi!

I can't wait to read your post after you've been married for another 14 years!!!

Sandy J said...

What a wonderful post! Happy Anniversary! Here's wishing you many, many more!

Malinda777 said...

What a beautiful post. I knew I read your blog because of a real, deeper's that you are a damn decent man. I'm so happy that you have had so many beautiful years together.

Kids made me giggle too, isn't parenthood a trip! Makes growing old so worthwhile.

Rene said...

Wow, what a wonderful post. Gets me all misty-eyed. I see my hubby and 3 kids standing together and I think "gosh, I need a beer."

Happy Anniversary.

Carola said...

happy anniversary!
that was such a lovely post to read, knowing the love that married people share makes me more excited for the possibility that one day i too might have that - but one day is just far enough away - i love my independance right now and when the time comes that i can sing and do crazy things for that special guy, i'll do it with as much love that i hear from so many blessed couples...

I've said hi to your wife a few times but i will go by again and say another hello!!

I hope you enjoyed your traditional anniversary love filled day!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Happy Anniversary Carmi...that picture of you and your wife on her blog is BEAUTIFUL! I love the weay you write about your wufe and your children. May you always feel as happy as you do today, and as you did on your Wedding Day.
Congratulations To You Both!

srp said...

Happy anniversary to a very special couple. You are blessed. She is blessed and your children are blessed. Your home is special, unique and so rare these days.

Many, many, many more years together.
In my dad's family all four brothers have made it to 50 years of marriage. My parents are working on 56 years now. If you both continue supporting and working together, you'll get there too and have a happy ride along the way.

Prego said...

Fancy that. I'll have to pay your wife a visit!

I always tell my wife that I am happy with my life. I like my job, love my kids, and if she shuts up about me playing too much hockey, we'd have a trifecta.

By the way, my friend Doug, who is Jewish tells me that the 'breaking of the glass' part of the wedding means, "No more drinking with the boys." Something tells me he's kidding.


(here via michele again)

MaR said...

Happy Anniversary! what a wonderful post, Carmi!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to have such actualization and contentment with a family. I'm happy for what you have and that you know your treasures.

Shephard said...

Michele sent me. :)

The Flintstone song! Oh, that made me laugh.
Such a wonderful read. I love reading that others are happy, and appreciative. It's contageous. And glad you have someone who encourages you to follow your heart. So important for a writer.
And I learned a new word: Bashert.


Mellie Helen said...

Congratulations and mazeltov on fourteen years of happiness. You have much to be thankful for and you are wise to recognize how richly blessed you are. May the House of Levy always be loving and warm!

Sandy said...

Happy belated anniversary to you both. I always enjoy a good love story. Thanks for sharing yours.

keda said...

what a beautiful post carmi!
lovely. i have e-met your wife before but i'm going to pop over again now.

i love the toothpicks above and the cream! well that is such and incredible photo! i wanna new camera :)

i disagree with dubya all the time but couldn't think of anything worthwhile to write up there, so i'm commenting down here instead where i feel safer :)

have a lovely weekend babe.

Jennifer said...

I've never e-met your wife, but I've bookmarked her blog, and will check her out in the morning :) I've seen her pictures, though...she's beautiful :)

barbie2be said...

oh, Carmi. what a beautiful tribute. i wish you and mrs carmi many, many more happy anniversaries.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 14 blissful years and may the rest of your life together "fly" by as you enjoy life. :)

I hope my marriage is as full of fun as yours!