I've been taught that marriage would be one of the most rewarding things I would be part of. I heard again and again how marriage was better than dating, how (in so many words) marriage was all positives and no negatives. My parents glow when they talk about their first year--everything from the paisley drapes they sewed for their first apartment, to my dad carrying my mom through a giant mound of snow to the threshold of their honeymoon cabin (from which, lest we forget, they now live down the street, and they do not miss an opportunity to point out said cabin with whimsical sighs and dreamy eyes).
Perhaps there are some people in this great big world who merrily waltz over the placid lakes that are their marriages, their toes rarely skimming the surface of devastating arguments and broken hearts. Perhaps their marriages are full of poems, blushed cheeks, ironed clothes, padded wallets, and assumably lots (and lots) of sex. Peace is easily obtained by some people, but for me, it is worked for and earned.
My marriage is better than fireworks and rainbows. It is fierce. It is passionate--mostly in the best ways, but sometimes in the worst. It is scrubbing the bathroom not because you love the person who helped you dirty it, but because you are the only person who will. It's letting your wife pick the movie for the eighth time in a row even though she (admittedly) has horrible cinematic taste. It's humiliating your husband in front of his family and not regretting it until it's too late. It's saying that you don't care when really you do. A lot. It's moving halfway across the country for your husband to attend his dream law school, and then missing your job, your friends, your school, and your family each day. It's those days when you lie to your mother when she asks how you're doing. It's letting your wife go on a ten-day vacation in the middle of your midterms. It's coming home to your husband from your ten-day vacation and feeling touched at how grateful he is to have you back. It's bursting into tears in the middle of ward business in sacrament meeting...for the third week in a row. It's bracing for the worst. It's fumbling to hold each other when it is the worst.
It's the shared mistake of Baja Fresh burritos.
It's whistling together on bike rides, getting songs stuck in each other's heads for days on end. It's pretending to be interested in fantasy football. It's hugging your husband from behind while he washes dishes. It's catching each other's eyes and smiling from across the room. It's finishing each other's sentences and appreciating each other's anticlimactic stories. It's hearing your wife say that she's proud of everything you're doing. It's watching a dozen giggly children climb all over your husband. It's those nights in bed with legs intertwined, noses touching, breathing steadied and synchronized, watching each other's eyes become heavy with sleep.
Most of all, it's the realization of your own imperfection--every stubborn trait, every pimple, every time you have morning breath--but it is also the realization of how perfect you are in each other's eyes.
Happy one year, Freddy. We are off to a beautiful start.