Once upon a time there was a girl, who fell in love with a boy, who loved her back, so they got married, and lived happily ever after.
That was ten years ago today. Ten years that seem to have passed in the tiniest of pauses between moments, and yet at the same time it seems so long ago. I can remember so clearly standing in the church porch, shivering because the sun hadn’t quite broken through the clouds trying to peek around the pillar to catch a glimpse of H and not be caught peeking at the same time. And then the music started, and with a last look round at my bridesmaids, and a grin for Dad I stepped forward into my future.
There have been moments in my life when the world shrinks, and the rest falls away, and everything that matters is within a tiny sphere that could be measured in inches. It was that way when Kitty was born and lifted up and into my arms; my concept of the entire universe only just about encompassed H, sat next to me and leaning his head over as we both gazed at our daughter; and it was that way when we said our vows. I know there were lots of people in the church, I have the photos for one thing, and I can remember the joyful “we will’ with which our family and friends promised to support our very tiny new little family of two, but in the moment of our vows there was only him and me and promises that hold as true today as when we made them.
For all that Space for the Butterflies is my happy place, and definitely more representative of the shiny happy side of our life than the ‘yeouch I just stepped on Duplo and what on earth is that stuck to the kitchen floor’ version, it would be unjust to claim that the last ten years have been one saccharine-laden fairy tale. We have held each other up through times that I would not wish on my worst enemy, made big decisions and made hard decisions, laughed and cried, and grumped at each other about laundry crises, the washing up, and cobwebs, to name but a few.
And mixed in and overwhelming those moments are the highlights; the births of each of our little trio, the adventures, the time spent with family, and those simple everyday ordinary moments when you catch your breath and step out of time, just for a second, to hold the moment and know that this is what it’s all about, this moment right now is perfect.
Together, the good and the bad, they are the building blocks from which our family was made. I’m not so crazy as to suggest that every bad moment was a necessary part of how my family and my marriage looks; I’d really like the “better to have loved and not lost” than any of the suggested alternatives, but I do know that it’s in the tough times that our relationship was tested and found to be on solid rock.
H knows me better than anyone else in the world, my strengths and my fears, and I him. In every single one of the last ten years I have had the security of knowing that whatever happens, he has my back, and I have his. It’s not a big gesture, it’s not overtly romantic, it is simply the promise of constancy; and on that love built a family.
Much better than a fairytale don’t you think?