Love and Learning Amidst a Pandemic

Today is my anniversary. I should say, OUR anniversary. 13 years married. I’m not even sure what an anniversary means in this pandemic as time has been suspended and so too has any of our typical forms of bonding. What this milestone has brought up for me is that what me and my husband mutually enjoy is our little restaurant outing. Getting casually dressed, kissing our kids on the forehead, driving somewhere, enjoying a leisurely meal, where I get tipsy and we lean in close over a delicious meal and talk about life and talk about our kids until I get teary eyed. And then we leave without worrying about which one of us is going to do the dishes, or who wipes the counter the best. We’ll call this Date Night Magic, and here, a sparkle rekindles. The contrast of having the opportunity to do that and not having it has me shamefully woeful. I mean, poor Kelly, she has to pour her own wine. I mean, its pitiful but its not just about the tangible details of date night but its a little something extra that my heart is missing. I mourn my inability to replace date nights with something meaningful right now. What I’m longing for is connection and we haven’t figured out what that looks like in isolation with two chronically bored children.

We do our best.

In a way, we can thank this pandemic for an overall vibe of teamwork. Of creating our own little safety plan and sticking with it together. So as a sliver living, I’ll leave it at that and stick to what I do best which is sitting quietly in my bed and ponder things.

Every year I do a little ritual where I watch and record my wedding video and then make a remix, or as the kids say, an edit, to a new song. For the first time I felt I was utterly unrecognizable, and so was my husband. For the first time I felt like I’m watching someone else on that beautiful day. Admiring from afar.

I thought, if I could go talk to this girl, give her a heads up, what would I tell her? I decided: I wouldn’t tell her shit. With every up and down, every challenge, every tragedy, every joyous event, memory, fantastical voyage we have been though we have been transformed. To spoil the ending would be to spoil the growth. To tell her how it all ends would be to deprive her of some major lessons, she would not open and close as she does now. She would not have the same heart and mind that she does now. she would not know the world as she does now. And, I think, it would be a shame to ruin the surprises of life. 13 years of marriage has torn me down a time or two. But its built me up higher and higher each time. How bizarre that you can totally change and someone you sleep next to every night can totally change in their own way and somehow you are still as compatible as ever?

Often, this is not the case. This is not often the case. So I’m grateful that we have transformed in unison. Thats its own kind of Magic. And we don’t know how this one ends, this story of ours. We are just setting out on Chapter 13. But you know what? I don’t want to know, so don’t tell me shit, I want to live it and see for myself.

Side note: I was going to show off my wedding video edit but apparently in my effort to delete all my quarantine pictures of my cat, I deleted the video edit. So the next best thing will have to do.

This is our Californian rental car in May 2010 (a decade ago!) It got pretty dirty from the Hang Town Motocross Track, so we wrote “Just Married” and some random stranger topped it off with “good luck suckers!”

Good luck Indeed.

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