Next week is my 25th wedding anniversary. Wow, 25 years, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around that. We were just babies, with all the ideals and romantic dreams of how life was going to turn out. Who knew we would have 6 kids, live in 4 different states, go through 14 jobs over those 25 years. Life has never been smooth, nor has it been easy.
Neither of us were really raised by anyone but life. We learned lessons the hard way. Through humiliation, embarrassment and pure determination. We didn't have parents that guided us and helped us set goals, and taught us life lessons. We paid for our own wedding and everything in between. We didn't have people to help us out when we were first married. We didn't have parents that would make up the difference when we were worried about birthdays or Christmas. We didn't have someone to advice us on finances or major purchases. We didn't have anyone to turn to when life felt unbearable. All we had was each other, and I guess that's how we really have gotten through these 25 years. Just leaning on each other. We had to except each others weaknesses, so that we could depend on the strengths.
The one thing we have always had is..... we were friends. We enjoyed one anothers company and respected the differences.
As I look at my children I sometimes wonder if guidance and knowledge is a bit overrated. I don't know that they are any better going out into the world, with all the knowledge and guidance we have provided, than we were without it. I think because we had to learn the hard way, maybe we learned a bit earlier and fell a little harder, in order to make the lesson a bit more real. I'm not sure if my kids just ended up with all of our weaknesses, or if some of our weaknesses became strengths, because of the life lessons we learned.
I have two children at home right now that are older than I was when I got married. It's strange to look at them and think that I was so sure of what I wanted and didn't hesitate or look back. I went at it full speed.
Did I cripple my kids because I "parented" too much? Did I lecture more than I needed, when maybe standing back and allowing natural consequences be the lesson? Did I catch them to often when they should have fallen, in order to make them stronger for the next time they fell?
Life is tricky, and as a parent you constantly question if you have done it right. Did I set the right example? Should I have been at home reading Dr. Suess, instead of at meetings to start a charter school? Should I have encouraged them more to do more things, to create more talents, to make more friends? Should I have crafted with them more, and cleaned less? Should I have pushed morning scriptures more? Should I have been stricter? Have I been a good enough parent? Kind enough, loving, forgiving, accepting, patient? Did we as parents show enough love for one another? Did we speak kindly to each other, respect one another????
Life is just one big question....... But I read a quote the other day, that I am going to remind myself of everyday in order to be at peace with who I am and the choices I've made.
"The PAST cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased; it can only be ACCEPTED."
So here's to the last 25 years. Whether it be good, bad or ugly....It is, what it is. I'm just glad I get to spend it with these people. It makes it all worth while. I'm glad I have an eternal companion to fight through all the difficulties and celebrate all the milestones with. Life can send you hurdles to jump over, and at times I feel as though I don't have the energy or desire to jump them. I know I can, I have in the past and I will in the future. I can do hard things, I have a friend that will pick me up and brush me off when I fall.
Thanks Drew for being the MAN that you are. And thanks for the past 25 years. Here's to 25 more.