I did manage to get them to look at a few photos though, which elicited Aiden's question, "did you want to marry Daddy?"
Nine years ago I was doing this.
This is a photo of me seriously asking my Dad what the hell I was doing. I hit a panic from the time we were outside the church doors, all the way down the aisle. I was terrified. I was too young, too impressionable, too naive.
My Dad is lovingly telling me he's paid thousands of dollars toward a sit down dinner and live band and I better get my ass down the aisle and kiss the guy.
He was attempting to talk me out of my panic with rationale words about how I was going to be fine.
I like to think I was just nervous about all the show and hoopla of walking down the aisle in front of a lot of people and all that, but I was scared. I was really good at the dating, falling in love, planning a big wedding, but then I was a bit nervous about the married forever part.
But I kissed the guy.
(Sidenote: I don't have a single electronic image from this day, so I just took some photos with my phone of the album I have. Super high quality.)
We did a euphoric walk back down the aisle where I look all shoulders and elbowy and Alex looks like he's trying to pull me like I'm a prize he just won.
Then we posed for some cheesy photos.
We went to our fancy dinner and dancing and had a fantastic time, as did my friends with the open bar.
(My brother might have even dropped the maid of honor flat on her back on the dance floor since they enjoyed that open bar so much.)
And it was done. Married. Forever.
It is not always easy. It isn't even always pleasant, but I always want to be married to him. I never wish this weren't the choice I made that day. I never wonder why my Dad didn't pull me back and tell me to run. I assume he already knew it was going to be OK.
My father was elated that day. He even got out on the dance floor for more than just the father-daughter dance. My Dad can work the chicken dance.
He was right to be so joyful. It was a pretty damn fantastic thing we started nine years ago.
I think I was so scared that it would all fade. That we'd both be fat and apathetic before we could blink, or that we'd get caught in all the day to day blah that we would let it consume us. I figured we'd forget how much we like each other and how fun it is to be with one another so we'd slowly stop trying to be around one another.
As it turns out, my fears were mostly all for nothing. There isn't a part about our relationship that has faded, quite the contrary. When I look back at those photos of two very young people I am amazed at how little we knew and how much there would be to discover.
I feel immense gratitude that instead of becoming fat and apathetic we've grown more and more determined and passionate about not just one another, but about us. We are stronger, me physically because I go to body sculpting classes now, and Alex probably just emotionally. We are a family.
We often do get caught in the day to day blah and it does in fact consume us. We fight about who takes the trash out and I get mad when he pour the dog food early in the morning and wakes up Stella. I'm silent and angry and he is cold and distant. I feel mad that I'm the only one cleaning the toilets and he gets mad that he is the only one that mows the grass. It's all sorts of ridiculous anger around here, and it totally blows sometimes.
The amazing thing is that these moments are fleeting and small. These moments don't add up to anything but the routine of life....which is thankfully much more full of heartfelt love, genuine respect, and a very real belief that being anywhere else, with anyone else, would simply be an insane impossibility.
We are reminded of our affection for one another in the fierce determination we both have to do the best we can for our family. We realize how much we like one another in the small moments brushing our teeth or laughing until it hurts at one another, ourselves, and thankfully we can team up to laugh at our children.
Did I want to marry him?
Happy Nine Years!