Marriage is hard. Add a child to the mix, and it's even more difficult. My husband and I have been married for nearly 13 years, and let me first set the record straight that we're not getting divorced. (Not today anyway.) But that's not to say he doesn't drive me absolutely insane. I'm sure you'd be shocked to learn I'm not always so delightful to be around, and I drive him crazy too; however, this is my blog so I won't bore you with those details.
What I will tell you about are the times when I think I might actually lose it completely, like when it's his turn to clean up the dinner dishes, and he thinks rinsing and stacking them in the sink will suffice. I can't stand it when he doesn't empty his pockets, and I wash random items left in his pants. When he takes the initiative to throw in a load of laundry they end up mildewing in the washing machine about forty percent of the time. The other sixty percent they get dried and left to sit and wrinkle themselves to death until I salvage them from the dryer. And of course he and our two-year-old daughter, Ellie, are two peas in a pod so they're already ganging up on me.
But then my little family and I have a day like today. It began with the planets perfectly aligned because Ellie slept until 8:30 a.m. That never happens! We enjoyed a nice morning, and this afternoon we went to The University of Tennessee's Orange and White Game, the annual inter-squad football scrimmage. Today was super special because not only was it Ellie's first time inside Neyland Stadium, but it was the debut of this year's t-shirt. This t-shirt was designed by the one and only Laddy Fields, my sweetie. I think I may be the only person in the history of Tennessee Football to ever tear up at the Orange and White Game. I'm pretty sentimental anyway, but today made me really misty-eyed.
Laddy and I married at a young age. We did the whole crappy apartment/multiple crappy jobs thing for a while. Laddy is the smartest person I know (although for some reason he can't manage to sort his clothes into the four color-separated hampers we have), but after college he hadn't decided what he wanted to do yet. Really, when you think about it, who has? At today's game I vividly remembered the night we sat in our tiny apartment in Bristol. It was the night before his interview for his first design job. I'm not sure what he'd written in his cover letter, but I recall it being very late and him being stressed to come up with an entire portfolio. Everything he knew at the time (and for that matter what he knows today) has been self-taught. He had a few books out that night trying to figure it out, and I hung around for moral support. I'm not quite sure how he got that job. I figure it was part luck, part skill, part charm and part divine intervention.
It made me see how far we've come in a decade. We've moved to Knoxville, become home owners, adopted a dog and had a baby. We've been through a lot, both good and not as good, and we've been extremely blessed. And I'm going to do my best to hang onto this zen feeling, at least until mid-week when Laddy will forget to replenish the toilet paper.