A bug flew in my eye on my wedding day.
We were zipping along in a golf cart, hurrying to get back to the reception after taking pictures together. Just THWAP. Right in my eye.
It hurt and I was reluctant to stick my dirty fingers directly into my eye or to ruin my wedding day makeup. I knew it was trapped under my eyelid, but I was too scared to open my eye. I just kept it weirdly clenched shut, my eyelid clutching that wayward gnat against my angry eyeball. I’m still not sure how it got out. But it did. Don’t worry guys, it did.
I don’t remember a thing from our ceremony. Not a damn thing. If we didn’t have it on video I wouldn’t be 100% convinced it happened. I remember the DJ started the processional music way too soon and my mom and I had to sort of speed walk/jog (very difficult in high heels and a formal gown on soft grass, just in case you were wondering) in order to get to the right spot on time. One of my bridesmaids fell down the stairs and cut her elbow open on our way out of the clubhouse. The DJ had “forgotten” some equipment out of town and had to run and get it, pretty much promising me he would not be back before the ceremony started, even though he was in charge of all the ceremony music. What I really needed was a drink. But I was 5 and a half weeks pregnant; a secret we were keeping from the vast majority of the guests that day.
When 10 pm hit, I hit a wall. Unable to overcome my sheer exhaustion and nausea, with no assistance from my friend Pomegranate Martini, I had fantasies of secretly turning all the clocks ahead two hours so Will and I could just collapse in bed.
It was a gorgeous day. Will cried when I walked down the aisle. We slow danced outside as the sun set gently behind us. I awoke the next morning to texts of “the most beautiful wedding ever”. The last couple hours of the night included giant circle dancing to 90s rap and other embarrassing, perfect wedding music. People cried because they drank too much. They cried because they loved us. There was flirting and drunken singing in our shuttle back to the hotel. All the makings of a perfect wedding.
I’m so glad its over.
Our life together before our wedding was like the “college” of our relationship. We had responsibilities, like rent and a job and had to pay our own health insurance. But there were nights staying up way too late drinking and talking, of spending the better part of every week with friends, of taking off out of town whenever we felt like it. There was eating out a lot. At restaurants. Without kids. Excuse me while I cry a little inside. There were days we would be bored. Yes. Bored. A feeling I can no longer conceptualize in any form. But there was a time we felt that. There were talks of “someday” and our imaginary future homes and children.
Our wedding was an arbitrary cut-off, a line in the sand of some new phase of life.
This year we celebrate year number three since that day we held hands and said our vows.
“I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard.” We both said these words, out loud, as our guests watched. We read through these vows months before our wedding, choosing these lines specifically to repeat to each other.
Life has not seemed easy these past three years. Far from it. The past three years have felt like struggle, painful growth, and more struggle. Like gasping for air while we sort of drown a little bit. Then reaching the beautiful beach and saying THANK YOU GOD for letting me still be alive through things like severe sleep deprivation and working from home with a toddler. But the love part? That has always felt simple. Particularly the past three years.
In the last three years, our daughter was born – easily the single most life changing event I have ever experienced. No contest. Not even close. There have been weeks were I legitimately wonder if we have had an actual conversation all week. Nights when he has walked through the door and I could collapse on the floor in relief. Date nights where I have looked across the table at him and thought WHAT IS GOING ON?? How is it possible I have been given this man, this relationship, that is everything I ever dreamed of? Actually, quite a few nights like that, not to be too obnoxious. There have been compromises that don’t feel great. There has been strict budgeting, money stress, job stress. There have been moments of pride so deep, I feel like my heart will explode at any second watching him with our daughter. There have been days and nights all I want more than anything in the world is to be alone for an entire 24 hour period.
And there has been, through it all, an easy, steady, undeniable love. A complete, 100% certainty that this is the person I am meant to be going through this all with. A deep knowledge that things will get easier again, but before that they are probably going to get even harder. It doesn’t scare me, not with him. Or perhaps more honestly, it scares the shit out of me, but I know at least I will have him with me through it all. And that makes it infinitely less terrifying.
Three years ago there were bugs in eyes and our daughter just taking form inside me and our whole lives were about to completely change. Three years ago there was a wedding and I hated it and loved it and parts were both exactly what I had in mind and nothing like I expected. It was one day, one tiny speck in our now nine and a half total years together.
My daughter often looks at me with sparkling eyes and touches my face or arm or pulls in close to my body and says, with all the authority in the world, “Daddy loves mommy … SO MUCH.” And I don’t care if it’s the 99th time she has said it that day, those are the most beautiful words in the world.
Year Four. We are coming for you.