Today we celebrate 9 years of marriage. The celebration will be more in our minds than in reality. After all, there is life to live, laundry to do, two kids to feed and keep alive and get to sleep at the end of the day. But there are plans for a weekend brunch to look forward to. We know how to party.
We say “I love you” frequently. We always have. Sometimes it almost feels more like a habit than a phrase as full of meaning as it is. But maybe, really, that’s what love is. A habit. A way of choosing someone over and over and so much by default that it can be easy to forget how much power it holds. But the power is still there. And the power is in the habit. And that habit is what is going to hold your love together even when things get hard.
It’s interesting to look back on our lives together and reflect on how things have changed. In in these years of saying I love you, I feel like the meaning has shifted, slightly. The old meanings are still there, the bubbly, joyous, make my heart go pitter-patter meanings, but there are added layers now. A bit more reality and determination. A lot more humility.
I love you used to mean “You’re perfect for me!”
Now, I love you means, “I know I’m not perfect, but I hope you know I’m trying my best for you.”
Now, I love you means, “I know you’re not perfect, but you don’t have to be for me.”
I love you used to mean, “Life with you is going to be glorious!”
Now, I love you means, “Life is hard, and sometimes boring and frustrating, but I’m glad I’m spending it with you.”
I love you used to mean, “I’m excited to help you live out your dreams!”
Now, I love you means “I know you’re disappointed that your dreams haven’t quite come true, but I still believe in you.”
I love you used to mean, “I think you’re brilliant!”
Now, I love you means, “I don’t know what I’m doing, but thanks for still supporting me.”
I love you used to mean, “I’ll never let you get hurt.”
Now, I love you means, “When your heart hurts, mine does too.”
I love you means “I’m sorry.”
I love you means “I forgive you.”
I love you used to mean, “You’re my favorite.”
Now, I love you means, “That hasn’t changed.”
Who knows what the next 9 years will bring and what layers it will add to our “I love you’s.” I do know that we will keep on saying it. The habit is strong.
Happy Anniversary, husband of mine. Thanks for the 9 years of I love you’s.