August 17th this year started bright and beautiful. I woke next to Brian who was lazily scrolling away on his iPad and smiled a happy, content smile. I love Saturdays. I rolled over and put my head on Brian's chest to read the article he was reading. No rush to get out of bed. No pressure for Brian to get showered and out the door. He kissed my head and we wondered aloud how long we could pretend to be asleep before the clomping and stomping outside our door came in.
Turned out to be a minute or two. Not bad.
Soon we were all in our swimming suits rubbing sunscreen into our skin.
We were excited to get down to the beach to try out Carson's new birthday presents. "We're totally the most popular family on the beach today," Brian joked as we watched the interest mount in our hamster wheel.
Don't worry, it only took Brian and I over 30 minutes to blow the beast up and, after our heads stopped swimming in lightheadedness, it was ready to be used.
It was definitely fun.
I took a few minutes to try to get a shot of the waves breaking over the camera, but the waves weren't quite big enough to be curling... they were more sliding like an avalanche so this was the best I got.
We eventually got hungry, so we decided to go inside for a fun, crabby lunch.
After which, we all settled down for an afternoon of quiet. Timothy napped, the kids watched a movie, Brian read a book, I plopped the computer down on my lap and worked on pictures, and we enjoyed an hour and a half of quiet before Timothy woke again and started stirring the energy once again. Right towards the end of our quiet time, my cell phone rang and I answered the call from my mother-in-law, Jean.
"Well, hello, Linds!" she said.
"Hi, Jean!" I answered.
"Does your sweet husband get to be home with you today?"
"Yep - he's here. We've just had a great morning at the beach."
"That's so wonderful. I was just calling to say Happy Anniversary to you guys and to sing Brian my Happy Anniversary song." ... ... ... Um... What? ... ...
"That is today isn't it?" she asked after my silent pause. I recovered quickly.
"Yep, it sure is! Thank you so much!" I wasn't sure whether to let her in on the secret that I had completely forgotten about my anniversary and that I was quite sure her son had, too, or to pretend. We had been so focused on planning Carson's birthday which had been the day before that we had forgotten to think of ourselves.
"Well, in just a minute, I want to talk to Brian, but first we want to talk to Carson to see how his birthday went," she finished. I handed the phone to my oldest son and walked into the bedroom where Brian was reading and rocking a sleepy Timothy.
"Hey..." I said as I leaned in closer to him. "Just so you know... your mom is on the phone and wants to wish you a happy anniversary."
His eyes widened in shock. Yep, that's what I thought.
We laughed. We gave each other a hug and a kiss. We laughed again. And then we continued on with the rest of our day as scheduled.
I've been thinking about this for the past month. How weird it was that I forgot our anniversary when, first, it was such an uncharacteristic thing for me to have done at all and, second, it happened to be the anniversary immediately following his heart attack, which I would think would give this anniversary an even greater need to be celebrated. And I've realized a few things.
We didn't really need a day this year to refocus on our relationship. Refocusing is kind of what I love about anniversaries because my life has a way of pulling me into its details and trapping my thoughts among them. It's too easy for me to spend my life thinking about what's for dinner or how I'm going to get the floor mopped today, or even when I'm going to schedule my next date night. So an entire day spent in remembering the broad picture of our relationship and love is usually a welcome change. But, this year we didn't need that day because we've spent the last eight months doing that very thing.
Right now, we are so happy to have each other on a mundane Tuesday that having each other on our anniversary didn't feel like that much of a difference. And, if this feeling fades over time (which it, unfortunately, probably will as the weeds of daily life get bigger and stronger) then I will be right back to throwing myself into our anniversary. But it was nice to realize that, for this year, we didn't need one.
I also realized again that, even though these boys look concerned below (which is why I love these pictures so much!), we are having fun this year.
Without any extra planning, our anniversary was spent cuddling in the morning, playing on the beach 'till lunch, relaxing the afternoon away, and barbequing through the evening with the very people in this world that we love best.
I see that the pendulum of our lives has swung back to the side of happiness and joy. And that the difficulties and trials we went through last year just gave the ball more and more and more potential energy so that when it was released, we would soar to a happiness never before reached. I'm certain it will swing back someday and we'll be called upon to wrestle through something else (even today a bit as I feel a tugging loneliness for changing leaves and crisp air)...
But right now, this feels pretty magical.