What We Didn’t Know

Yesterday was our 12th anniversary. See, here we are, after about 8 hours of just the two of us. It’s still there – that magic my friend, the preacher’s daughter, called “the glue when Dad puts their hands together in marriage”.


Twelve years ago we could not have imagined awakening on our anniversary to conspiratorial whispers and clinks of crockery in the kitchen as our children made a surprise breakfast. We pretended to sleep while someone slipped loudly into our room with a lighted candle which he set directly under the lampshade, which I hastily rescued. The little sister got sent in at least three times to check if we are awake yet, seeing as the eggs were getting cold. The waiters brought in plates with pancakes and eggs, excellently cooked. My pancake was a teddy bear, Gabe’s was a penguin with its feet chewed off. Then came the crowning touch of a breakfast tray with steaming mugs of tea, a bowl of sugar and a pitcher of syrup, along with a funny little music box tinkling out a merry tune.

The children had gone to the neighbor’s yard sale the day before and picked out some anniversary presents. One was the holder for the lighted candle. Twelve years ago I wouldn’t have thought that I would ever cherish a rather unusual porcelain bird/flower candle holder painted in various astonishing, pearly colors. Another gift was a small pot with a lid that clasps, “for special things”. (Why do I think of Pooh?) I love it! And the music box… which someone made it their business to wind and rewind the entire time we ate our breakfast, because everyone knows there should be romantic music on an anniversary. On our honeymoon, we would have laughed at the idea of having an audience of five watching us eat our breakfast in bed, but we didn’t have the heart to send them away, seeing as they were so exceedingly pleased with themselves. It was actually quite romantic, when you consider that out of our love sprang these dear little people sprinkled all around us.

Twelve years ago we would not have been thinking in terms of going on a date in a rather large Suburban with very high miles, seeing as the tiny red Mazda was working just great for us. In fact, I believe we made merciless jokes about those family vehicles. Now we are poster children for those jokes. Guess what, we don’t even care! Neither would we have known how rejuvenating it is to a marriage to just spend time with each other, even if you are grocery shopping or ambling through the mall, hand-in-hand, checking out the clearance racks.

Sometimes we look back and laugh at those kids that got married, with all their ideas and plans. We hadn’t a clue that there were career switches for Gabe, from deck builder to teacher to nurse. We hoped for children, but we didn’t know. Sometimes through the years we would look at each other and say, “What do we think we are doing? We don’t even know what we are doing!” When the questions get too big, we have learned to just leave them to Providence and say, “At any rate, I’m with you.”

7 thoughts on “What We Didn’t Know

  1. Your breakfast made me giggle. How totally charming of your littles! For them to delight so much in serving you, you’ve gotta be doing something right! (and 8 hrs alone sounds heavenly!) Love to you guys!

  2. Oh I love this description of your day! Time certainly changes things, but for the better doesn’t it? Your attitude certainly makes all the difference. The penguin with chewed off feet certainly gave me my morning laugh!

  3. Ahh.. this is so sweet! I love it that they had the mind to bring you breakfast in bed and even add the candles and music!!:) And with becca, the penguin gave me the giggles:) And to think we get to see your beautiful faces in just 8 days!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Oh dear! I laughed and cried at the same time while I read this and Andrew couldn’t quite understand what was going on with his mom:) Your breakfast in bed was so sweet and hilarious at the same time. From the candle that could have put the house up in flames to the music box serenade………I’m still smiling! I love your perspective on life! Happy Anniversary!!!

  5. Congratulations on your anniversary! Loved the story.
    Btw. you still look (almost) as young as you did premarriage.
    You have kept your youth well. A hearty sense of humor helps with that. πŸ™‚

  6. What a delightful little story! Your children really must love you very much,and they sound like such sweet unspoiled children.Life is so full of lovely,magical (for want of a better word) things!And that feeling one shares with ones partner,for us grows richer and deeper as the years go by!

  7. This is just really good. πŸ™‚ The part that got me was the winding and re-winding of the music box, “because everyone knows there should be romantic music on an anniversary”. And I agree with Rach, your kiddos’ valiant efforts to celebrate you tells us a lot about your investment in them. Here’s to the next 112!

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