Seventeen Years

At 10, I thought marriage was a battle.  It was hurting and apologizing and rage and fear and working hard and tears and unpredictable moments of joy.  It made me wary, determined, demanding of something different and something better.

At 15, I knew marriage to be painful.  It was vindictive and harsh and a little bit dangerous and failed.  It made me afraid, cautious, stubborn in believing I was deserving of something unconditional.

At 20, I had hope that marriage could be different.  It could be good and real and hard, but always a friendship that could last my whole life. 

At 25, my marriage was up and down and hilarious and infuriating.  It was a teetering balance of life and work and laundry and a baby and bills and responsibilities divided in two.  I was happy, but still determined and ever cautious of what causes it to slip over to unpredictable.

At 30, my marriage was stable.  It was reassuring and disappointing, sometimes on the same day.  It was busyness and predictability and arguments over money and I was restless and worried because I just wanted to be wanted.     

At 35, my marriage was changing.  It was fragile and unnerving, when two people that had loved each other for so long had grown into different and yet the same versions of themselves.  It was messy and loud and funny and sad and still we came out on the other side holding hands.

At 39, my marriage is different than I imagined it would be all those years ago.  It’s better and stronger and healthier and more forgiving.  It’s still hard.  It’s still messy.  It’s still loud.  But it’s funny.  It’s good.  It’s kind of everything and it’s ours. And it will change and grow and yet somehow remain pretty close to the way it started.

I, Jamie, take you Scott, to be my husband.  I promise to be loving and faithful, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long we both shall live.  With this ring, I marry you and join my life with yours.

Seventeen years ago, I stood with my Scott in front of our family and friends and said these words to him.  I meant them then and I mean them now, even with the messiness and the busyness and the kids and the dog and the work and the heartbreak.  We are different than we were 17 year ago, for better and worse, but I would still choose him today.  I’m proud of what he and I have done together.  I hope he is too. 

Happy Anniversary Scoots   You will forever be my favorite person to do life with.

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