Monday, December 28, 2009

Candy and Iron: Six Years

Six year ago last week, I stayed up literally all night. I read a dumb kid's book (called, interestingly enough, Esperanza Rising) and I cried and shook and occassionally placed midnight calls seeking comfort from my fiance (who counseled me from the privacy of a hotel bathroom). I got up the next morning and, with a fear and trembling that is not done justice by that phrase, married my husband.

It turns out that he was the one who should have been afraid.

It seems to me that most people I know floated to their wedding day with high bliss and no fear. That used to make me feel bad, like I had missed out on one of life's momentous occassions and that there was something wrong with me--and perhaps even my marriage. I don't think that anymore, which is why I feel fine about placing this information on a public blog for strangers, former boyfriends or, more likely, just my husband and his family to read. I have since that time realized a few things about life decisions like this, the first being that I have never met a crossroads over which I couldn't agonize interminably (where to go to law school, whether to go on a mission, what to order at Rio Grande). The second is that deciding to whom you will tie yourself for the rest of your life and beyond is a scary decision and a leap of faith. I thought my husband and I had dated a long time and that I was a pretty mature and sophisticated woman when I agreed to marry him in 2003. In reality, I had known him a year and I was 26 when I said yes. Looking back on all of this, knowing now what I didn't appreciate then about the lack of wisdom a 26 year old bears, all that one doesn't know about a person one has dated for a mere 12 months, I realize that in the end I just got lucky.

I think I found the one guy who could handle me and love me without reserve or resentment through all the thick that I have slathered onto our relationship over the years. He is perfect for me.

We were looking at photos from a few years ago and were shocked at how much younger we looked and how different our lives were. The photos were only 3 years old, but back then we were really at the beginning of something that we now feel deep into: it was our first year of parenthood, Brigham was about to start his first career job, we were selling our first home. It was all just starting and we were still in our twenties. Just three years later, we are expecting our third boy, Brigham is in charge of his own cases and my oldest would be starting kindergarten next fall if his birthday were just 2 months earlier. Most startlingly, I am using wrinkle cream instead of acne lotion. It has been six years since we started out on this adventure together and like everything else in my life I am simultaneously shocked at how short a time that represents and how long. I cannot imagine my life any other way, and I don't want to. For me, who still receives (with some small stab in my heart) alumni mail from the three law schools at which I enrolled, that is really saying something.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the institution of marriage, now that we have entered the stage where more friends are announcing their divorces rather than their engagements, and maybe I will work up enough energy to spill my thoughts here sometime. But for now I will suffice it to say that I am so grateful to have a partner who is always on my side and there for me and our kids, with humor and competence. Brig, I am glad that we are still only at the very beginning of it all.

PS Brigham, I feel reassured, rather than threatened, by your promise that you will outlive me now that you have explained that the world is too full of complicated driving routes, missing articles of clothing and complicated electronic appliances/gadgets for me to be left on my own. So true. You can deal with getting sent to collection agencies over an unpaid $20 BMG bill by yourself.


Troy Tegeder said...

So glad to hear you are happy in your marriage and congrats on the third boy. When does he arrive?

Monica Rich said...

Congratulations Allie! A 3rd boy -- wonderful!

And also glad to hear you married someone so perfect for you. Hope to meet him one day (I don't count the reception line at your wedding).

terrah said...

I've felt I've always made even my major decisions quickly, maybe too much so. But the decision making process drives me nuts and I strive to make it as efficient as possible. I think a leap of faith and an element of luck is involved in the outcome of most major decisions, and thankfully, I have been quite lucky!

Beautifully expressed as always, Alexandra. Congratulations on the new baby coming to your family.

Sarah said...

Glad to see another post! Yours always make me smile.

I think we all have our own way of dealing with decisions. Paul is sort of similar to you, and agonizes quite a bit over most decisions. In the end though, I think you're right-- it's by grace that things work out for any of us. I was one of those who VERY blindly and happily jumped into marriage. I guess I have no problem making impulse decisions and sticking to them. :)

Happy SIX years to you two! You really are a wonderful couple.

Erin said...

Why have I not had your blog??? I do not know! So glad I "ran into you" tonight! You have so many wonderful and interesting thoughts Alexandra. I love your blog!!! So much I can relate to, ha!

Carolina said...

I loved this post. I feel like I got very lucky, too--I was a mere 20 years old on the day I got married. What do you know at 20?

Congratulations on your anniversary and on a new little boy coming soon. I've always said that little girls and little boys are best in threes (not that I am planning on having children until I achieve this). They will be best of friends.

Ashley said...

I love that you stayed up all night. I was terrified and horrified all throughout my 3-month engagement. Cried all the time and had to be talked off the ledge by Tyler on a regular basis. And that is even after feeling really sure that he was the right guy for me. I am always surprised when people don't get a little nauseous at the prospect of ETERNITY. The best advice my dad gives before a temple marriage is "Hey, there is always divorce." Sounds disturbed but you might just be disturbed enough to understand the comfort in it!

Is your wrinkle cream any good? What kind is it?

Momo Cannon said...

We are so glad that you and Brigham went through with it six years ago! As the mother of your husband, I am gratified that you acknowledge what a gem he is! I can also say that you are perfect for him. And that you have perfect boys (can't say if any girls you might have would also be perfect, but I think they would be!) Congratulations on six years! Love, Momo

Jacqueline Auna and family said...

Allie! Congratulations, you have such a beautiful family -- so exciting that you are having another boy!! I love your post, you are so so funny, sweet - and so very real. Love you!

Michelle said...

I just love you. Really, What a sweet post, and don't worry...I was scared on my wedding day too... you're not along girl! When are we getting together?

Tara, Doug, and Isaac said...

Lovely. Three law schools? And a third little boy? COngrats! When are you due? Has your pregnancy been okay?

I appreciate your honesty about your anxiety over major life decisions (like ordering at a restaurant). I've heard that it's great to marry young because it's the only time you're stupid enough to rush into something like that.

And have you read Flannery O'Conner? I've got her complete works and I know I've liked the few things I've read by her. Her tone reminds me of yours, so I'm wondering if you have discovered her.