Last night I spent a few hours celebrating my good friends bachelor party. I have not laughed so hard in a long time! (No details here, though videos may hit Facebook soon)
Normally, bachelor parties are seen as a “last hurrah!” before a man steps into marriage and parenthood, but last night was the opposite.
We all parted knowing that this was just the beginning of an even more exciting chapter for all of us.
As I came home a little after midnight, I pondered on the advice I had shared, and realized it was such a little a thing, compared to what marriage and parenthood really is:
-The feeling of love and comfort when I come home late and my wife’s still awake, just so she can kiss me goodnight.
-The commitment of finally laying down, just to get right back up to change and feed the crying baby so my wife can sleep.
-The joy waking up at 4:30 am, after 3 hours of sleep, because i promised my kids i would make cinnamon rolls for their first day of school.
-The excitement of taking a van full of kids to -meet their teachers before the first day of school, and then on their first fishing trip.
-Then watching some of them be thrilled, some disgusted, as the fish are gutted and cooked.
-The patience of sleeping on the couch because Little Man wants to cuddle with his mommy and sleeps like a starfish.
-The shock and joy when my wife holds up a pregnancy test with two faint blue lines.
-The shock and fear and shame when she tells me there is more month left than money.
-Holding her hand and her space as my wife endures childbirth, feeling helpless and sometimes useless until my child enters this world screaming and then quiets as she is placed in my arms, and knowing I am who she will depend on for at least the next two decades.
-Sleepless nights in the hospital, waking up at every abnormal beeping of the machines because I am convinced something is wrong.
-The anger and sometimes fear when dealing with disobedient children.
-The heart-expanding, tear-jerking upswell of love when my child wants nothing more than to just be held by me, and only me.
-Laughing with my wife while having “mommy-daddy private time”, and little hands are knocking and pushing things under the locked door for us to admire, and then looking into my wife’s eyes and seeing only complete love and trust and admiration.
And then all of those ordinary, every day moments when I am stopped in my tracks, captured by my wife’s beauty, her strength, her resilience and power and intelligence and faith, and falling in love all over again because I know that she chose me, and chooses me every single day, as I choose her.
Nothing anyone told me was able to prepare me for what I have experienced these past 13 years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Marriage is an ever-changing adventure, where she and I are never the same people, our life together breathes and grows and strengthens in ways I don’t always understand.
I love you, Marianne. Thank you for all these years of choosing in.