Hey, you know what Clay and I did this weekend?
We celebrated our first anniversary.
I KNOW! But really, truly, it’s been a whole year!
Saturday we took the kids to the library. I ran into a woman I haven’t seen for…what….nearly five years. We spent time together in the year after my first marriage split up. Our kids used to be in the same homeschooling program.
When we passed each other, there in the children’s section, we both had one of those pause…look back…think hard…what IS her name?...moments. Finally we both confessed to faulty memories and figured out where we knew each other from.
“Is THAT your baby?” she gasped as Raphael walked past, brushing me with a proprietary hand.
“Yes! And look!” I pointed out Clay, across the room, “THAT is my husband!”
And I laughed out loud, a little too loud even for the children’s section of the library, because it surprised me again, the joy of it.
Look. There he is. Perhaps it was seeing this woman, who knew me last as a fragile, skinny, scared person, and thinking about those days as compared to these.
There he is. Here we are.
After the library we dropped the kids off at my parents’ house and went out to celebrate. We sat so long over dinner, laughing and talking, that we missed our movie.
Here we are, and what a good place to be.
But of course it isn’t only us – there are the kids too.
I remember reading somewhere in the weeks before the wedding last year that “experts” estimate that it takes seven years for a step family to blend.
Seven years, I thought. SEVEN YEARS?
The thought panicked me, and made me tired at the same time.
To the “experts” I submit the following scene:
I was making Raphael a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and as I slipped it onto a plate and turned to the table, Clay glanced at it and shook his head.
“You cut it the wrong way,” he whispered to me. I shot him a look. I think I know how to cut his sandwich.
I set it down in front of Raphael, and he took one look at it and slumped in despair.
“Moooooooom! You CUT IT WRONG!”
He ate it anyway, but informed me several times that next time I should just let his dad make his sandwich.
And maybe next time I will, because here we are. My kids have a dad again – one who cares enough to notice the right way to cut a grilled cheese sandwich.
What a beautiful thing.
Happy anniversary, love.