We spent our 4th anniversary like this:
And a little bit like this:
This year of marriage has probably been our hardest. I don’t know if Kamel feels that way, but I definitely do. I wasn’t interested in the compromise of marriage. Marriage is work on a personal level. Loving your partner is not the hard part, it’s being constantly capable of considering another person, being willing and able to put them first. There were lots of times in the last year where I didn’t feel willing to do that, where I was spread too thin, where I really wanted to just stomp away and slam the doors and say I Don’t Want To. And there were plenty of times where I didn’t necessarily feel taken care of the way I needed to be. There were times where our buddy system failed both of us.
There was a lot of life work happening this year. Saving for a house, dealing with employment stress, sacrificing personal and family time to support Kamel’s career, managing a very strict budget to support my time at home at the end of this pregnancy, and the general realities of parenting a toddler. It was a lot of work.
And most of the year was spent creating a new family member – no easy feat.
This year was not a bad year even though it was hard. It was a growing year, a double down and push through it year, a real talk year. And it ended with the birth of our daughter, the completion of our family, and the ability for Kamel to take a week off where he wasn’t even a little bit “working from home.”
Kamel is my favorite person and my best partner. He is the greatest dad and the person I want and need most to take care of me when I am at my lowest.
Year 4 is fruit and flowers, beautiful ripening growth. The promise of new life and rebirth. It sounds so much more frivolous than it actually is.
Here is a peach: for all of the peaches, served on a tiny toddler spoon, we fed Gabriel this year.
Here is a lily: for the flowers you got me for mother’s day.
Here are 700 watermelons: for all of the chili lime melons you made me while pregnant (even chopping off the super seedy bits and taking extra care to give me all the best pieces).
Here is a daisy: for all of the flowers Gabriel has picked for us this spring and summer, something you taught him to see and appreciate.
Here is our daughter: for the best flower and the best fruit of the year, something we grew together.
Here is to many many more years of work and growth and triumph and loving you with all of me every single day (even when I hate you).