Guess what? It’s my wedding anniversary today. Yep, 16 years of wedded bliss. To celebrate my wedding anniversary today, I’ll:
- Prepare two lunch boxes
- Feed the dog and collect some chicken eggs from the coop
- Taxi the kids to and from school (and be grateful that Friday is my day off from extra-curricular taxi-ing duties)
- Sit at my desk, shuffle papers around, ping out probably 12 million emails and take 7500 phone calls and text messages
- I’ll eat takeaway #becauseFriday
- And then I’ll settle into my PJs on our lounge for the usual Friday night family feet-up session in front of the box
Earlier this week, I already knew we wouldn’t be ‘celebrating’ our anniversary in any unusually memorable way today. Because we don’t. And that’s totally cool with me. But this also made me wonder why we don’t. And I came to a lightbulb-moment conclusion – hubby and I are generally too busy celebrating our kids to celebrate ourselves. We put so much emphasis on marking their birthdays and other various achievements in memorable ways. There are special family dinners out when one of them does amazing at a school. Or a trip to the destination of their choice if they get great ballet exam results, and the like.
It’s funny, because I remember a time in my life when someone would ask me how long I’d been with my (then) boyfriend and I’d be able to rattle off the exact number of months and days. And I know I’m not alone in that!
“It’s the four-months-and-two-weeks anniversary of when you first asked me out, babe!” I’d enthuse. “We should totally go back to that beach and have a picnic to celebrate.”
And we would.
Then pregnancy and kids come along and, as parents, we instead start to mark those milestones with vigour. You’d be able to tell people with complete certainty that you were “18 weeks and three days” along. Or that your baby was “23 weeks old” tomorrow. And, nowadays, your Facebook feed is not a Facebook feed unless it’s peppered with styled photos of friends’ over-dressed babies lying on playmats alongside one of those cards spruiking “2 months” or “3 months today” or the like.
I’m probably not alone in saying that kids in general take a fair chunk of focus away from your relationship with their other parent. But am I right in saying that it’s that relationship that we need to work on the hardest, to ensure a strong, stable foundation from which the other beautiful family stuff will flourish? Celebrate your couple milestones as enthusiastically as your kids’ birthday parties. Imagine getting 50 people together in your local park, with balloons, streamers and cake, to celebrate your fifth (?) wedding anniversary?
While it might be too late to pull together a gala event for my 16th wedding anniversary today, let me make a pact with you, dear readers, that I WILL do something special for my wedding anniversary in the coming weeks. And the beauty of this plan is that he won’t even realise it’s not the right date.