Category Archives: family

What It Means To Be Married For 12 Years (Or, Baker’s Dozen)

Today is my 12th wedding anniversary. On one hand, 12 years feels like a long time. Since getting married, we’ve lived in four cities, moved in and out of five different apartments, townhouses, and homes, and had two kids, two dogs, one cat, I have no idea how many fish, and just as many jobs. On the other hand, 12 years feels like a blip. Our kids are young, I still don’t have a headboard, and both of our parents have 40 plus years under their belts, so we’re really just getting started, right?

Whatever the case, a dozen years of marriage feels like a milestone worth some self-reflection.

Being married for 12 years is…

1. Realizing that although the intersection of marriage and parenthood is difficult, we’re fortunate to have the burden.

2. Accepting that eating Chinese food delivery while catching up on “Major Crimes” on the DVR (and being interrupted by the kids who are supposed to be in bed) qualifies as date night (occasionally).

3. Acknowledging that our flaws of 12 years ago are our flaws of today, and letting it (them) go.

4. Admitting that the roles we play may not be what we expected, but they work.

5. Recognizing that we can’t have it all at the same time, and taking turns supporting each other’s goals.

6. Loving and losing a pet.

7. Taking care of our parents.

8. Laughing because love is hard, life is short, and kids are funny.

9. Being thankful for FaceTime when business travel puts an ocean between us (even though the camera angle is hideous and forces me to stare at the wrinkles between my eyes).

10. Digging deep (deeper on some days than others) to remember our intention in the first place.

11. Knowing that stuff is something, but happiness is everything.

12. Feeling grateful that despite some minor changes, including the aforementioned eye wrinkles, a few (a lot of) gray hairs, a bulging disc, and reading glasses, we still look more or less like we did 12 years ago.

BakersDozen2

13. Looking forward – with hope and gratitude – to our baker’s dozen.

12yearslater

9 Comments

Filed under anniversary, family, marriage

The Conversation That Defined My Dad (Or, Root Beer)

One day, a long, long time ago, I had a chat with my dad during which he mentioned how much he liked root beer.

“Dad,” I said shocked. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bottle of root beer in this house in my entire life!”

He shrugged.

“Dad, if you love root beer so much, you should drink it. It should be in your refrigerator!”

This is the kind of seemingly insignificant conversation that for reasons unknown I’ve held on to. For decades. That no one remembers but me. At the time of this root beer revelation, I was either in college or graduate school, which meant the world revolved around me and my goals and my dreams. As such, my dad’s self sacrifice of root beer (of all things) was unfathomable to me.   Then again, he always put our needs ahead of his own. Everything he did and does is for one thing – his family.

He’s always supported my ambitions. He drove me to dance classes, sat through marathon dress rehearsals, and brought me to competitions and conferences. He paid for four years of college and two years of graduate school (and a few many months of New York City rent), and I often wondered what he thought of my decision to pursue dance instead of something – anything – more practical, but he let me spread my wings anyway.

All this time later, my dad is just as invested in my life as he was when I was a kid. The only difference now is that he’s also devoted to Mike, Dylan, Riley, and Gertie (and Harry). Twice each year, he still calls to remind me to change the clocks, and I look forward to those calls even though almost all of our clocks change on their own.

If I could describe my dad in one word, it would be this: Selfless.

Every year on Father’s Day, I think about sending him a six-pack of root beer, but I’m not sure if it would make any sense. It’s funny the memories we choose to preserve, and I often wonder which ones Dylan and Riley will hang on to throughout their lives. I just hope that when they’re all grown up and someone asks them to describe me in one word, they’ll say one that reflects the kind of parent my dad has inspired me to become.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

IMG_4897

As proof of my inherited selflessness, I posted this picture even though it accentuates my eye wrinkles. (Selflessness is a journey, not a destination.)

How would you describe your dad in one word?

1 Comment

Filed under family, parenting