I rarely write about Dave, and when I do, it’s usually the light stuff. He’s my husband, yes, and I love him, yes, but we figured out pretty early that the way things work is that I get to make fun of him—a lot—and he can only make fun of me when I’m in an excellent, light-hearted mood, so maybe once every two months he can pull off a slight ribbing. It’s worked for us, at least from my perspective. He’s still with me.
And it’s been ten years today.
Ten years since our wedding: torrential rain, colorful umbrellas tucked dripping into the limousine, our quiet kneeling in front of a statue of St. Mary as the cantor sang Ave Maria beautifully while I prayed for and talked to my mom, my dear friends everywhere around me, meeting some of Dave’s friends for the first time, an extraordinarily long happy hour, the most-hilarious-Best-Man’s-speech-in-recorded-history, dancing to Sinatra with my dad, the look on Dave’s face when I played him a song on the piano, wonderful family from near and far, my college buddies singing the song my mom taught us all in a Williamsburg tavern, butterscotch candles, Zydeco, Bill Withers Lovely Day, the Philadelphia and Chicago team jerseys of iconic players as place cards, sunflowers surrounded by rich reds and chocolate browns on every table.
I had a feeling Dave was going to be a good dad, but if I’ve learned anything these past ten years, it’s that Dave is a great dad. The girls will ask me to play Barbie or School or American Girl Dolls or Fairy Garden, and I sometimes hesitate, not because I don’t want to play (sometimes because I feel I have to cook dinner or fold laundry) but because it doesn’t feel as natural for me to pretend, to get down on my hands and knees and be a kid again. Dave will go there in a second: he’s a goof, which helps, but he knows (as I do but don’t always act upon) that this time is short. Lexi is 7; Caroline is 8. How much longer will the girls want us to be right there with them, coloring, kicking the soccer ball, tossing a Frisbee? I pick forever, but Dave doesn’t take any chances: he is full-on appreciating these years we have together.
I may correct his grammar on occasion (He is taller than I) but I can learn a few things from him about living in the moment. (He also has a keen sense of direction and a freakish ability to recall dates.)
Dave makes me laugh–at him, sometimes, but especially with him. He fits with my family (funny, smart people) and I fit with his (funny, smart people).
This is not a piece to trumpet luck, love, and certainly not perfection. This is not a piece to instill praise or jealousy or sympathy or anything, really. No “likes” needed. No feedback required.
This is a small gift for you, Dave, since we just bought a house and can’t afford to buy each other anything else. No diamonds necessary (at least not this year). No trip to the islands (again, not this year). I love our new home; I love you and our daughters. I love this life right now, at this moment, as we make our way through together.