Last week, Fred and I hit our five-month milestone.
I think blogs can be depressing to read when it seems like everyone but you is living a charmed life. Women will be like, "Today is our five-month anniversary. Chris woke me up with a hot baked muffin. Oh wait, it wasn't a muffin! It was a 4 carat diamond ring. Then he gave me a two hour massage. Then he played Spanish guitar for me. Then he took me to our backyard, and there was a hot air balloon! I couldn't believe it! I'm writing this from my iPhone while we are soaring over the Grand Canyon at sunset."
This won't be one of those posts.
One of my blog missions is to make people appreciate the realism of their lives. So, here's some reality for ya. :)
In reality, I had an exhausting week.
In reality, Fred had an exhausting week as well.
We are nearing the end of his first semester of law school, but it's been a semester full of a zillion changes--a new marriage, a new city, a new school. And sometimes, like this last week, the stress drills into us at full-force, and we are driven to do some pretty stupid things as a result.
Such was the night before our five-month anniversary: an explosion of reality, stress, and a little bit of arguing (okay, a lot of arguing), contention, hurt, and tears (oh heavens, all the tears!). As a result, we slept very little that night--myself only two hours.
Enter Adri.Meet Adri, my five-year-old niece. I was scheduled to baby sit her the day of my marriage anniversary. Puffy-eyed and worn out, I drove to play with Adri for the day.
Near the end of our play date, Adri and I pulled out paper and crayons. We started to color pictures. While Adri was busy scrawling her name and perfecting her technique in drawing stick figures, I drew a picture of a bright purple castle with a mote, a magical pony, and Princess Adri in a hot pink dress.
While I was putting the finishing touches on my picture, Adri asked, "What are you drawing, Rachel?"
"A picture," I said, "for you."
I handed her my drawing. Her bright blue eyes lit up as she breathed, "Ooh, wow! It's b-e-a-uuuutiful!"
What happened next taught me a very valuable lesson. She smiled, said thank you, and then drew me a picture. Not just one. Not two. Adri drew me SIX wonderful pictures: a turkey, a rainbow, a garden, another turkey, a house, and a picture of me.
I was touched that during our art time, she became most excited when giving pictures, not getting pictures. My giving inspired her to give more, not to take more.
Kids are kinda smart, aren't they?
Adri's example stuck with me as I drove home that night to see Fred for the first time since our blow up the night before. The beautiful thing about marriage is that it's an opportunity to love--to give. As time goes on, I understand my responsibility to give Fred and our marriage everything I've got. It is a huge blessing to hold the soul of another person in your hand--to see someone for everything they are and everything they're not, and to love them no matter what you find. Sometimes it's scary. But mostly it's just awesome. It's awesome to learn to love someone so unconditionally, and then to let that love--that person--inspire you to be better.
When I walked through the door the night, Fred was already waiting for me. He scooped me up in a big hug, kissed my forehead, and said, "Happy five months, Rachy. I love you."
Marriage (and life) is about giving. But giving isn't really enough, because it is especially important to find joy in giving.
Then you can be as smart as Adri. :)