Thursday, September 26, 2013

When You Thought Your Children Weren't Looking

Tomorrow is my parents' anniversary. My mom acknowledged it without much fanfare. As if it wasn't a big deal.

How many parents quietly slip another year under their belt? Even with a celebration, a party, a fancy night out, do they realize how much that year means to their children? Do they see that it's a big deal? Just like the mundane moments of parenting, those daily activities in a relationship add up, turning into thousands of moments that impact children for a lifetime.

As I sit here thinking about their many years together, flashes of moments surface in my mind.

Those times when you kissed in front of us, making the children giggle or cry out, "Ew!" Those moments were a big deal. They taught us that people who love each other show each other frequently.

Those times when you passionately argued in front of us, voices loud, emotions strong. Those moments were a big deal. They showed us that two people can have individual opinions and still be safe in a relationship.

And those times when you had a quiet, civilized debate and then took the time to talk to us about PAIRs and about communication skills. Those moments were a really big deal. They showed us how to be honest with ourselves and others and how to communicate our wants and needs for effective teamwork.

When you smiled at each other and talked without words, you thought we weren't looking. But we were, and we learned that two people could be intimate beyond words.

When you quietly sacrificed for each other and worked outside your comfort zone, you thought we weren't looking. But we were, and we learned what it means to love beyond the thrills of emotion and hormonal sparks.

When you worked until your bones were weary but still had time for each other, you thought we weren't looking. But we were. And we learned to cherish what was really important in life.

And when dad farted and you could both laugh about it, everyone was looking, or running away. LOL. But we learned not to take ourselves too seriously on this tiny planet spinning in a tiny universe.

For every smile, every look, every kiss. For every harsh word and debate, every concern and every trouble that weaves its way into the tapestry of was all a big deal.

I can't chronicle every second of two lives intertwining over many years. I can't share every tear and every smile. But as the moments blur together, they do send a resounding message. It's one of quiet, resolute commitment where you know that no matter how hard things get, you will keep going together. And it's mixed with plenty of the good stuff, the stuff that gets you through life: laughter, silliness, prayer and affection.

So when this day rolls around on the calendar every year, it really is a big deal. Not just for the parents, but for the children, too. A happy anniversary is a salute to the thousands of moments of living that swirl together to form a family.

Hope you have another good one.

Easter photos
Vacation in MO
Showing us the way
So many moments!
Meeting Finnian

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