Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marry Me a Little

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, this weekend my husband and I attended a wedding. We have attended a number of weddings together, two of them within six months of our own. And of course, going to a wedding within a matter of months of your own is very romantic, because you are constantly reminded of your own special day. But, as I discovered this weekend, it is equally romantic going to a wedding four and a half years later.

This particular wedding was especially lovely. The bride had three grown children and the groom had two, and the toasts given by the children had the entire audience in tears. The daughters of the bride and the groom were the bridesmaids, the groom’s son was his best man, and the bride’s two sons escorted her down the aisle. Readings were by the bride’s brother and the groom’s sister. And the JP who officiated had obviously spent time getting to know the couple, as her remarks were both appropriate and personal.

But what made it most meaningful to me was how her remarks applied to all the married couples listening. At one point, she invited the bride and groom to join hands as she talked about the reasons they gave that they loved each other, and without hesitation, my husband took my hand in his, and we each thought about everything we love about each other. Without speaking a single word, we knew we were both thinking back to our own wedding day and the vows we made to each other. While we were driving up to the wedding the night before, my husband had remarked that he hoped their wedding ceremony would include an invitation to the married couples attending to renew their vows to each other, and although that invite was not explicitly given, we both saw that moment as a chance to privately renew our vows.

Just this morning, I stumbled across an online discussion of vow renewal ceremonies. Opinions were very much mixed, although I was surprised at how many posters thought they were ridiculous because “vows don’t expire.” And that is a perfectly reasonable opinion. But my personal experience is that, after several years and several children, vows tend to fade into the background. The business of daily life, like earning a living and raising children, takes most of our time and energy and we sometimes forget to turn the focus onto our own relationship as husband and wife. So a little reminder every now and then of the promises we made on that day when we were completely focused on each other serves to bring a little perspective.

And it never hurts to remind yourself of everything you love about your spouse. For example, I love that my husband does things around the house without thinking twice. I love that he doesn’t make fun of my total lack of directional ability. I love that he knows my exact level of frustration when his stepping in to lend me a hand is helpful and not annoying. I love how much he loves spending time with his children. I love how smart and knowledgeable he is in so many widely varied areas. I love how hard he works, and yet how he is able to balance work and family. I love how dedicated he is to his college fraternity. I love that he always looks neat and well put together, whether he’s wearing his jogging gear or a tuxedo. I love his beautiful singing voice. I love how beautifully he plays the piano. I love how comfortable he is at a party or in a group of strangers. I love his laugh. I love his mad bartending skills. I love how protective he is of me. I love the way he loves his family. I love the way he loves me.

And I’d marry him all over again. After all, I imagine I’m marrying him again at every wedding we go to.

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