Reflections on half a decade.

Today we dropped Elaina off for five hours of daycare (one hour for each year) and had a date in the rain.

“Can you imagine if the weather had been like this on our wedding?” Forest asked as water sprinkled on our heads. He would have been a lot more comfortable in his wool tuxedo. I think he has spent the last five years reminding me how hot it was in 2016.

But today he wanted sun. We have been planning this lunch out for a looong time. Those of you who are parents know the immense luxury of enjoying a whole meal without jumping to grab milk or water and then jumping again for a cloth to wipe up the spilled milk followed by one or two trips to the potty.

Sitting around a platter of Lebanese delicacies and savouring each bite felt like a fairy tale and brought memories of our early pre-baby days. Vocabulary from the recesses of my mind sprang forward as we talked culinary styles and travel memories. I could get used to this again…

But then I saw kids playing on the scooters in the rain and I was glad that Elaina’s absence was only temporary.

I thought of naming this blog five lessons in five years but that sounds a bit too much like a self help book and I don’t know if I could pick a top 5. I am learning every day. How many days are in five years? Kudos if you can calculate it in your head.

Comparing this anniversary to others I definitely feel more calm. It has finally settled into my subconscious that Forest loves me and isn’t going anywhere. We will bless and annoy each other every day and that’s okay. When I felt less secure in our relationship I really tried to create “moments” and if the concert or dinner or whatever wasn’t perfect I would feel really disappointed and then immediately dream for the next one.

Couple time is important. I heard someone say that he would have still been with his first wife if they spent more quality time together alone. I guess what I am saying is that our quality time isn’t as dependent on glam and glitter.

It did take a bit of mental adjustment to pull off my fancy coat and comfort a screaming toddler while looking at our constantly dirty kitchen floor.

But now as we sit with our phones and talks about politics while Elaina watches TV, the date continues in a different form.

As we shared memories and hopes for the next five years a lot of our conversation centred on our neighbourhood, church and family. Last night we sat around our neighbour’s table as they remarked on how fast five years have gone by since we moved here. Friends from church remember us coming for the first time as starry-eyed newlyweds. They have seen us through every season since then.

I have seen people posting about how COVID reminds us of our connection to each other and how our choices impact others. I would say it is the same in marriage. How my husband and I treat each other creates ripple effects with more profound effects than I can imagine. The little words and actions sprinkle out like seeds producing both luscious and ludicrous fruit. (After five years it is easier to laugh and forgive the ludicrous ones).

We showed our five minute (yes, there is a theme of fives) version of our wedding video to Elaina and she kept calling out “there’s grandpa and grandma! There’s YeYe and NaiNai!”

In Christian culture, people often say “we are one body” in order to promote unity. This comes from Paul’s writing:

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Marriage and sex are the ultimate physical metaphor of being “one body.” Now I am starting to see also how we become “one body” with our neighbours, friends and family. Gone are the days when I think I can do whatever I want without impacting others. And that is a good thing. So I hold my dreams for the future lightly. Instead I look forward to going deeper into community and seeing where we go together.

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