21 Aug 2014
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Married with Children

An anniversary reminds me how lucky I am even when things don’t go as planned.

Married with Children

My husband Mark and I have been married 18 years and 1 day today. Our anniversary was yesterday.  

We had plans to go out on Saturday, even had a sitter arranged. But…lo and behold, the night before our night out, our daughter spiked a fever. 

For a moment, I thought we could still pull it off and sneak out, but deep down I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to a night out. As all parents know, these things happen. It’s not just about us. We’re married with children. (Yes, I’m playing with words and remembering one of my favorite TV sitcoms from the '80s.)

We were at a spectacular wedding a month ago in Ireland and our young friends Sarah and Barry began their life together as a married couple. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and the night was all about them, as it should be.

During the ceremony, the priest gave the couple a gift, which I thought was really cool. I’m not sure if it’s an Irish tradition or what, but he presented them with a picture frame. He asked them to fill it with a picture of their wedding day and place it in a special spot in their home. He told them there may be tough days ahead and hoped that the image of their wedding day would always remind them of how happy they were on their special day and what brought them together to begin with.

I don’t remember everything that was said during my own wedding ceremony but I do remember Father John at Sacred Heart talking about magic and how the wedding day was magical but the real magic starts after the hoopla is over.

I’ve learned the truth in that. The real stuff is what happens after the honeymoon phase. The real stuff is made up of those days when the roof is leaking and money is tight; when the dog you’ve had since forever needs to be put down; when the kids have a stomach virus and your plans get messed up. Marriage is not easy and it takes some magic to keep things afloat at times.

So, in the grand scheme of things, missing an anniversary is not so bad. We actually had a great night in. We squished on the sofa with our kids and watched reruns of Wipeout. We made nachos and went to bed early.

We didn’t get much sleep though because of my daughter’s coughing, aches and pains. I woke up with a sore throat and some aches and pains of my own but I think I'll be just fine. After all, I’m married with children—18 years and counting—there’s definitely some magic in that.

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