I cried when I got to tell my children that they and their friends will be free to marry whoever they want to when they are grown. My heart soars knowing that, whatever social prejudices may linger, a basic respect for love is now on the side of the law, and I cried when I realized that their own kids, should they have any, will grow up thinking that those prejudices are so weird and retro. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who worked towards this.
This doesn't feel like victory, it feels like the lifting of a heavy weight, like regaining the ability to breathe, like relief.
I want to wish you a super duper happy Father's Day... I am so lucky to have had the wonderful love and support you have provided me with throughout my entire life. It is a love and support that I can always count on, and always take great comfort in as I move through my own crazy life. I certainly don't take it for granted.
Thank you for helping me to be the person I am today. Thank you for arming me with many of the tools I use every day as I face the weird challenges life provides, and thank you for sharing your humor and your respect in the process. I always know that I can count on you to have my back, even from myself. And I always know that you are there if I want to share a silly video or a cool new bit of performance art...thank you for still being such an important part of my life, despite the geographical distance. I hope that will continue to be true forever! (Except maybe that distance bit. I do hope that someday it won't be such a big gap.)
9 years ago today, we exchanged vows and rings in a sunlit atrium filled with family and friends. We began a journey of a lifetime, a beginning that elated us... despite both having raging head colds and being young enough to have no idea where life was going to take us, we knew this was a Big Good Thing.
Nine years, three kids, 12 moves, and countless ups and downs later, I can honestly say that it absolutely was a Big Good Thing, one that has lead to more Big Good Things than I can count.
9 years ago today - photo by Terry Donovan
I love you so much, James, and I am so proud of you, of our family, and everything we have built. As we embark on our tenth year of marriage, facing ever new trials and opportunities, I want you to know that making this commitment to you was unquestionably one of the best thing I have ever done.
Time - experience, really - changes people. It changes one's sense of self, strengthens one's identity. It nudges world views and philosophies and dreams into new paradigms. Sometimes, what fit as a bright eyed young adult may not fit as well after time has taught its lessons, even if it it is still every bit as wonderful as it ever was. And sometimes, what you take on at a young age is bigger than you know, and over time you grow into it, and learn so much more than you ever knew you would find...
We have undeniably changed and morphed and grown over the past nine years, and I want to honor that fully. Ten years ago, as a man of a mere 20 years, you asked me a very important question - and as a young woman of 20, I said yes. Now, 10 years older and wiser, I want to take a turn asking a very important question:
James, after everything we have been through, and knowing all that you now know, being the man that you are now at 30, will you agree to meet me a year from now, and exchange vows once again?
As the woman I am now at 30, I can say without hesitation that I love you far beyond all words, and I want to be able to continue to change and grow and morph right along with you as we take on the relative confidence of not-quite-as-young-adulthood. If you, as the person you are at this point in time, can honestly say that you feel the same way, then let's mark next's years anniversary by doing it all again, and allow our commitment to reflect all the richness that we have added to our lives over the course of this decade, with eyes to the future and its many possibilities.
I love you, James. Should you say no, I will still love you, and support you, and will continue to be extraordinarily proud of who you have become, and where you are headed. My heart will hurt, but I will still be so very grateful for the time we have spent, and I will know that my time was not wasted. I am not expecting a rote answer from you, and I don't want you to give me an answer based on obligation or history...I hope with all my being that you will say yes, but I can't fully honor the person you are now without accepting the vulnerability of letting this be a fresh choice.
Tonight, as we were laying calmly in the dark, quietly waiting for sleep, Hazel (who was cuddled up with kitty Lily) began to sing very softly. It was a beautiful little tune of her own making, and I found this teeny snippet remarkably profound (and wonderful:
"When you hear a heart beating, how can you not sing along?"
This amazing little spirit is celebrating five whole years on this planet today. I can't believe it.
Hazel, you bring me more joy than you will ever know. You never cease to inspire, delight, amaze, and challenge me in all the best ways. You are an amazing person, and I love you more than it's possible to express.