Jesse and I were married for 10 years this past Friday. We attempted to celebrate, however, our girls had another agenda. Harper usually gets fussy around the evening hours, but on Friday she decided to really show us what she's capable of. We swaddled, rocked, fed, and changed her and nothing worked. I even hummed the theme song to 90210; something that wins a smile every time, but she screamed louder.
Jesse and I were tag teaming all night. At one point, he came into our bedroom to take Harper just before I was seriously considering throwing myself out the window. He picked her up, and I walked into the living room to sit down with Hadley who was quietly doing puzzles.
"Hey, you." I said.
"Hi Mama. I don't like Harper right now." she said.
I patted her on the head and helped her with the United States puzzle (she knows, California, Texas, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Kansas. Kansas?).
It was quiet for about 5 minutes until I told Hadley it was time for bed. She, however, wanted to play with her firetruck. After a short argument, she threw a fit. It was the first full on tantrum I'd seen from her. Perhaps it was because I wasn't paying enough attention to her. Or maybe it was because she was overtired, or maybe she really wanted to play with her firetruck. But I think she and Harper had a conversation earlier on Friday and dared each other to see who could throw a bigger fit.
"Let's just get upset for no reason, OK Harper?"
"OOO! That sounds great!" adds Harper. "And since I can't talk yet, I'll just scream as loud as is humanly possible. It'll be hysterical!"
So our anniversary was spent trying to keep our girls happy, and then collapsing on the couch feeling as though we were run over by a semi-truck.
Our life now is filled with Sesame Street, bjorns, cheerios, and carseats, and I will file all these things away with the last 10 years I've spent with Jesse. One afternoon when we were living in South Bend, and I was complaining about how there was nothing to do, he took me to Macri's Deli and Bakery and bought us some pastries. We sat along the East Race eating donuts and watching the kayakers fly by. On Saturdays, we used to walk along the St. Joseph river to the Farmer's Market, and in the afternoons we'd often go the library or the Notre Dame bookstore.
If it was a football Saturday, we'd sometimes go to Corby's, or just sit on our porch and listen to the crowd from the stadium. And hardly a birthday, or Valentine's Day, or just a Tuesday would go by that we weren't at my favorite restaurant, The Vine.
I remember in our marriage vows we told each other that we'd help find each other's gifts and encourage one another to develop them. Once, when Jesse had gone to the library to look for a book, he came home with a huge stack of books for me. He told me he stumbled on an isle that was filled with writing books and thought I might like to take a look at them. Another time, he came to help my students make topographical maps one morning. I asked him later that day what he thought of working with middle schoolers. He didn't respond to my question but he did say, "You are a different person when you teach. It's like a light switches on."
So our 10 year anniversary might not have been spent sipping champagne or dancing to "C'mon Ride this Train" like it was 10 years ago. And instead of a bouteneirre, Jesse had spit up on his shirt, but I'd rather spend an evening with him, and my lovely girls than anyone else.