Today is our anniversary. Five years.
I know, the number five doesn’t sound like very much. Plenty of people have been married a lot longer than we have, but I know just how far we’ve come and how much we’ve been through in such a short amount of time. For me, five is a whole lot.
I had originally requested that he wait before popping the big question. We’d skirt the issue and delve a little bit into the marriage waters, but I was afraid. This wasn’t the first time at the rodeo for either of us. I was fairly certain he’d get tired of me after five years, considering that was the length of time I was involved with my former husbands from start to finish, and everything turned sour around the five-year mark. So, when he would bring it up, I’d say, “Ask me again in five years.” I wanted to make sure he’d stick around.
The two of us, though, we’re like glue.
He’s my best friend. He makes me laugh, he’s cool and he’s for real. He believes in family and wants what is best for me and the boys. Time has gone by and that hasn’t changed. Not to say we’ve had a perfect marriage. We’ve had trials and adjustments and moments that have evolved who we are as individuals and as a couple, but this man is a GOOD man, with a big heart.
Which is why my protective walls began to crumble.
My oldest son was 3 at the time. I walked into his bedroom, ready to read a bedtime story. It was what we always did. It was suggested that my son grab a book from the top of his toy chest, and sitting there was a pink elephant, ring tied around its snout with string. Instantly, my eyes welled up with tears. I knew what was coming. This was going to be a moment I would never forget, and I had no reservations. This was what I wanted to do, whole-heartedly. Imagine my surprise when my son grabbed a book I’d never seen before. The cover was a photo of him with his soon-to-be step dad, and that’s when I lost it.
(I had to take photos of the book, so forgive the bad images)
So much has happened since the proposal. We got married the following year, surrounded by our family and close friends. The year after that, our little guy was born and he changed our family dynamic for the better. Jobs changed. The kids either already started or are starting school this year (little guy will finally hit the preschool big leagues). We’ve lost loved ones. We’ve had our rough patches. Yet through it all, we love each other deeply and are a support for one another. A family.
And it all started with this one proposal.