Today is our wedding anniversary. Nineteen years ago on a sunny Saturday afternoon, surrounded by family and friends, Mr. Magic and I got married in his parent’s backyard. it was a low-key affair – my mother made my dress, my brother catered the lunch and his mother-in-law (also a friend of mine), made the wedding cake (carrot cake – my favourite!) which my mother decorated with fresh flowers. It was a lovely afternoon.
If you had asked me back on September 10, 1994, if I thought I would still be married, 19 years later, I probably would have been a bit dubious. Not because i didn’t love my husband, but because most of the married people I knew were separated or divorced, at least once. My parents split up after 21 years. Most of my close friends had similar experiences. A number of my cousins had married young and had already re-married before I even contemplated getting married at all. My parents-in-law were about the only couple I knew who had been together for more than 25 years. At the time of my own wedding, I didn’t see marriage as a long-term proposition.
Looking back now, I can hardly believe that much time has gone by. In that 19 years, we have moved cities and jobs, bought a house and had M. We’ve attended the weddings of family members and close friends and shared lots of milestones – births, deaths, and even a few divorces. In the last couple of years, my cousin’s kids have started to get married and have children of their own. Mr. Magic and I have supported each other through some difficult times, including unemployment, depression and family disagreements. We`ve also experienced incredible moments of joy, not the least of which were the moment we found out we were expecting M and the day he was born. We`ve had lots of moments in between too. Some days are a struggle – we both work full-time and while we love M to the nth degree, he`s not an easy child. As Mr. Magic said to me recently, “some nights, after supper`s done and the kitchen is cleaned up and M`s in bed, there`s not a lot left over.“ I expect that sometimes, both of us are just coasting.
One thing I`ve learned over the last few years, is that life is unpredictable. Things change, often without notice. Living in the moment isn`t always easy but if we don`t, we may miss the small victories and events that give our lives meaning and texture. Like watching M learn to drive a motor boat, playing cards together or walking to the ice cream store or the local Saturday morning market.
So today, I`m counting my blessings. I`m married to a wonderful man who is incredibly loyal and protective of his family. He’s smart, well-read and has a good sense of humour (a highly under-rated ingredient of a long-term relationship and parenthood). So what if his favorite TV show is Top Gear? Since my secret vice is cheesy romance novels, I`m not one to cast too many stones. Mr. Magic buys my favourite potato chips and spends most of his holidays at my family cottage. He loves me even when I don`t love myself.
I used to think that nineteen years was a long time to be to be with the same person. Now I know it`s not nearly long enough.