The Mr. and I got married very young.
Like so young that everyone in our wedding pictures looks terrified for us.
They are all smiling, and so are we, BUT it's that smile that says these two have no idea what they are doing.
They were all sort of right. I mean we were in love no doubt. Like serious you can't tell us otherwise, I can't breath without him by my side type love. I thought I knew it all and nothing was going to stop us. I loved that boy and I knew he loved me and by golly we had the determination, strength, connection, and good communication to make this marriage thing work.
We were VERY mature afterall.
Truth is we said the vows.... and even thought we meant them.... BUT...we didn't know jack-didley...rabbits about love and marriage or what those words really meant.
My Grandfather gifted us a dishwasher the day before our wedding.
He said he didn't want us to be tested so young.
He told us that dishes are just one of the many tests in a marriage.
He said a sink full of dishes can make or break a marriage.
We all laughed and kinda sorta secretly worried that early dimentia was setting in.
What on earth was he talking about?
He said "I'm serious...you'll see."
That dishwasher lasted for nearly 14 years and I am proud to say that we immediately replaced it with a new model because over the early years of our marriage we started to see some truth and wisdom in my Poppy's words.
In the nearly 17 years that have followed our wedding day we have learned to not fight about little things and I really can't recall ever fighting about the dishes. We have learned not to make marriage anymore work than it already is. We have learned that there are far more important things to discuss. We have grown and changed together and are both proud to say that we are among the lucky ones who married young and have never once regretted it. We have weathered many a storm and come out stronger for it.
Yesterday was our 4th day without power...or phones....thanks to that Hussy Hurricane Sandy. Yesterday was also the 7th straight day without any sunshine.
Yesterday marked day...oh I don't know because I've lost count by now....of rain.
Yesterday was the first day back to school after 3 days off and there was a scary bus debacle on the ride home.
Yesterday the school and my children's bus driver tried to call me to pick them up and I had no phone to receive that call.
Yesterday I heard no less than 5 loud generators humming away on our block.
Yesterday I watched several of my neighbors use chainsaws to remove fallen trees (that nearly destroyed their homes) from their lawns.
Yesterday as I was driving up an already treacherous road with fallen power lines and trees covering it I came upon one of my neighbors standing in the middle of that road next to a car that had clearly been rolled a time or two in the ditch. (The young girl driving was fine but my nerves were not.)
Yesterday was the first time that I had to start the generator that is keeping us warm...but could also potentially burn the house down...all by myself.
Yesterday I fell getting the generator out of the shed because the ground is so muddy.
Yesterday my Mom fell down my stairs because they are soaked and slippery from all of the rain.
Yesterday the phones would ring but when you said hello there was just dead air on the other end.
Yesterday the people of Staten Island, Long Island, and NJ who have lost SO MUCH more than we have weighed heavily on my heart and in my mind.
Yesterday I felt guilty for feeling frustrated, cold, and tired of a little power loss.
Yesterday we used up the last paper plates and cups.
Yesterday we schlepped the kids out to fill gas cans when we really should have been tucking them into bed because there was rumor of a gas shortage in our county.
Yesterday when we finally got some cell service and called the power company the recording said that they still didn't have an estimated time of restoration available.
Yesterday we realized that it could be several more days.
Yesterday with it's threat of no gas and therefore no generators may have been my last day of kindness and patience.
Yesterday I opened the dishwasher that has not been opened in all of those 4 days because well....lets be honest there were paper plates and we just kept praying that the power would come back on and save us from having to face the 4 day old curdled milk in our cereal bowls. Oh and don't forget about the disgustingly caked on 4 day old nacho cheese with nasty leftover salsa bits..that was in there too. Yesterday I opened the dishwasher....took one wiff of that thing and closed that dirty mother right back up. Surely the electric would be coming back on soon. This day needed to be done.
Yesterday after years of living with my Husband I realized that we were so far from that young naive couple.
Yesterday I realized how well we know each other now.
Yesterday he instantly noticed I had hit a wall.
Yesterday, as he has been many times before, he was right there to catch me BEFORE I fell....or snap, crackled, and popped like those fallen power lines.
Yesterday he enveloped me in his arms and repeated some variation of Poppy's long ago words and then helped me wash the dishes.
Yesterday I realized that while I did, in my own innocent naive sort of way love that boy way back then, I had no idea about what love and marriage really entails.
Yesterday I realized how LUCKY I am to live my life with this man.
Yesterday I realized that you cannot possibly know what words like honoring and cherishing mean until you have traveled through a few storms together.
Yesterday I realized that you cannot truly know what for better or worse means until you have seen your husband in his Superman pajama pants, with hair standing on end, bags under his eyes, and a headlamp on as he refuels the generator.
Yesterday I thought I couldn't love him anymore....and he was wearing a headlamp people...like the doozers on Fraggle Rock.
Yesterday I realized how smart Grandpa's really are and that they can only get that smart with age and experience.
Yesterday as my hands met my husbands in that scalding soapy water I realized that until you've watched a Dr. work on your 2 day old daughter and locked eyes and hands with your spouse you cannot possibly know what strength is. Until you drop your firstborn son off at Kindergarten together you do not know what real love is. Until you've researched, shopped for, and successfully replaced an essential appliance together you do not know what maturity is. Until you've tried to teach your children to ride a bike together you cannot truly know what determination is. Until you've heard trees crashing and hurricane force winds howling outside of the home that you've built together you do not know what connection is. Finally, and I know you young ladies reading this aren't going to believe me when I say this, but until you've dared to open, smell, and wash a dishwasher full of curdled milk and 4 day old nacho cheese by candlelight together you cannot possibly even begin to know what my Grandpa was talking about. Dishwashers and curdled Nacho cheese...that's the real glue that holds marriages together.
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