Yesterday morning I collected books, a fleece and an assortment of coffee cups and tupperware from the car as Drew buckled Asher in the backseat. I crammed them all in a reusable grocery bag and as Drew walked around the car, I passed him the bag and asked him to stick the tupperware in the dishwasher. He said he would, gave me a kiss and started to walk back to the house. It was all very normal, us moving through the normal motions of getting started for the day and doing the things that we do to keep moving.
“Hey Drew? Eight years tomorrow. Almost a decade.”
“Yeah, eight years. That’s crazy. Love you.”
And now it’s today, eight years ago today that we made promises to help each other get our mornings started, make our days work, braid our lives together. There were people sitting in chairs bearing witness then, now there’s a child in the backseat watching our every move, one in my stomach thumping into our lives from the inside out.
We had a fight last week about the garden fence, but not about that at all. And maybe it wasn’t even a fight. When we talked about it more we realized as we always do that we were pretty much on the same page the whole time. We just weren’t listening to each other. Or we weren’t doing a very good job talking to each other. We apologized, talked about going forward, talked about continuing to evolve and recognize that in one another. I cried because I’m pregnant and a little crazy, and Drew nodded and smoked a cigar while he looked at the stars in the black sky around our house. I wasn’t upset, I was aware that it’s been twelve years with him, eight years of marriage, and we’re still figuring it out, but we’re so much better at figuring it out than we used to be. We’ve learned how to get frustrated and move on, how to get to the root of the problem and not just think that we don’t agree about a fence. How to fall asleep in peace.
We collect laundry, tupperware, toddler laughs, long looks, dishes, what ifs, bills, stories, people, books, each other, we collect all of the things and moments of our life and pile them into our shared basket. We revel in the normalcy, delight in the consistency of days spent with someone so familiar. We’re each other’s bare bones, at once the best and worst versions of ourselves because we can’t hide anything. We’re still finding out that marriage is knowing someone when they’re stripped down to the core and exhaulting that person not to get them out of that place, but because of it. We’re still finding out that being married is the most serious work of our lives, and also the most simple. We’re just here for each other, the sun sets and rises, and still we’re happily here. It might be a little too When Harry Met Sally to say, but he really is still the first person that I want to talk to in the morning and the last person that I want to speak to before I fall asleep. And I do, I literally talk him into sleep most nights because he falls asleep easily and I’m talkative, but also because there are still more words. More years. More of this. It’s common and it’s exceptional.
We sat on the porch last night and talked about baby names and schedule things and projects for the house, and had a little champagne and looked at the moon coming up. Drew made me laugh, as always, with his unexpected observations. It was the perfect way to acknowledge where we are right now, where the tide of our years together is taking us. We remembered the wedding, and I still get surprised by how unpredictable it is to make promises about an unknown future and how still, somehow, we keep arriving here. Together. Eight years and counting.