Last weekend my husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary with a child-free weekend away. Who would have ever thought when we got married in 2000 that we’d have three children by now?
I looked back at our premarital counseling booklet, and I had to laugh out loud. The booklet contained a list of questions that we answered separately and then discussed with the pastor who married us. “How many children do you want to have?” I circled “1.” My husband also circled “1.” At least we were in agreement, right?
One child was our plan, but I guess God had other plans or at least a great sense of humor! You can make life plans, but planned to be surprised. (I’m paraphrasing that line from a really bad Steve Carell movie. Trust me. That was the most interesting line of the entire movie, and it was at the very end.)
Besides, how boring would life be if everything turned out as planned? Now that we have been blessed with three beautiful children, I can’t imagine life any other way. Yes, our house is always noisy and chaotic, but there’s hardly ever a dull moment. And if there is a dull moment, we enjoy it and are thankful for it.
As much as we love our three little munchkins, we also love an escape sometimes from the day-to-day grind of parenting. It’s nice to remember what it’s like to eat at a restaurant that doesn’t serve grilled cheese or chicken nuggets, to sleep through the sunrise and to refrain from conversations involving the words “poop” and “pee pee.” How romantic!
The night before we left town, I talked to the kids about the trip. I told them we would be gone for a couple of days and then come back. In the meantime, Grandma would be there with them. God bless my mom for taking on three kids for the weekend all by herself!
Mila asked me why we were going, and I explained that it was our anniversary.
“What’s an anniversary?” she asked.
“It’s the day we remember Mommy and Daddy’s wedding,” I said.
Mila loves to talk about my bridal portrait because she thinks I’m wearing a princess dress. “Maybe you’ll grow up one day and get married to a special man like Daddy, and you’ll wear a pretty princess dress, too,” I added.
Tears welled up in her eyes, and I asked her what was wrong. “But I don’t want to grow up and get married and move to a new house and make my own pizza. I don’t want to be in another family. I like this family. I want to live with you and Daddy forever,” she said.
I did what any good mother would do. I lied. “Yes, you can live here forever,” I said.
She was just so sweet and pure in that moment. Besides, it will be much easier to tell her to move out when she’s a legal adult. If she does get married one day, she’ll definitely be hearing this story at the rehearsal dinner.