I always dreamed of a wedding in a wildflower field. When people asked me about my “colors” pre-Caleb (I mean, this is a question girls ask each other on Saturday mornings when they’re drinking coffee and watching Gameday), I said, “I don’t know, but flowers.”
Caleb asked me to marry him right as summer slipped into fall, and because he was (is) in med school, we had two options: Christmas break or summer break. If we waited till summer, I could make all my wildflower wedding dreams come true. I could get married as the sun sank down the trees while poppies danced (or were crushed) beneath my feet. Or I could get married in December, with nary a black-eyed Susan in sight. Either way, I got to marry the best human I’ve ever met.
The day we got married, Dec. 20, the forecast projected a high of 47 degrees and rain all day. There wasn’t a wildflower within a six-mile radius (that’s probably not true; I just said it to be dramatic.) And I wish I could tell you that the wedding was better than anything I’ve ever dreamt; it’s true in a sense, but also, the whole wedding day zipped by so fast that I’m hoping I’ll remember more when I see the pictures. I have chunks of it that I snatched up: my mom zipping my dress up (outside—it was freezing!); sitting in a van in my dress and leaning forward just enough to see Caleb walk across the lawn in his suit (I was positive I would just evaporate from excitement); during the vows, when Caleb tried to make sliding the ring on my finger last his whole “with this ring” bit and I couldn’t stop giggling.
But by far the best part of marrying him is getting to be married to him.
I know I haven’t written about it much (or at all), but that’s because there are about five million reasons I think he’s the best human I’ve ever met, and at least four million of ’em belong to just the two of us. But a million reasons is plenty of fodder for a love poem (OK, blog) or 17.
Before you’re married, you hear all kinds of things about it. Every day, someone of Facebook posts a link to “11 Things Your Husband Needs You to Say” or a well-meaning family friend says, “Ah, the old ball and chain, huh?” or someone else tells you marriage is the best thing ever, but it takes a lot of work. For a little while, after we got engaged, I was preoccupied with making sure we Got Marriage Right. We needed premarital counseling! We needed to read books! We needed to know all our love languages and sub-love languages and I needed to give Caleb a detailed explanation of my monthly calendar so he would know when I was grumpy because I was PMSing and when it was just because I hadn’t eaten in two hours. I was afraid that otherwise, our marriage—which seemed like it would be the best thing to happen to me since Jesus—would turn sour. I wasn’t sure if it would happen right when we said the vows, when we got back from the honeymoon, or at some indeterminable point between then and Valentine’s Day (data is inconclusive on how long it takes), but I knew it would happen.
I feel like I should disclaim anything I could say about marriage by telling you I’ve only been married like four weeks, but I’ve been married to Caleb for four weeks, and that’s four weeks longer than anyone else ever has, which makes me the leading married-to-Caleb expert. And I haven’t anything to tell you about marriage by way of advice or wisdom; I’m going to hold off for 15 years. But I did lighten up a bit. We did get (the best ever) premarital counseling, where our awesome “counselors” said, “ Let’s talk about real life.” I did read a good book and tons of love poems. And mostly, we just talked to each other, about the hard stuff and the great stuff; we promised to one another that we’d notice when it was awesome and that when it wasn’t, we’d work real hard at it. Mostly, we said, “Don’t know what’s coming, but I’m in it for keeps.”
And so far, the days of being married to Caleb far exceed any days before. Not every day is better than the last, mind you. Not every day is a dreamboat. There have only been a handful when we were exempt from the demands of our lives; sometimes, I come home grumpy just because and Caleb will tell you I never did print him out a Guide to Lindsey. But I can’t imagine going back to not coming home to him. I can’t imagine if we’d waited for the wildflowers; now I get to watch them spring up as an Osborne. And I can’t, for the life of me, imagine marrying anyone else.
Caleb made me promise I’d never write a whole post about how awesome he is (what he doesn’t know is that I’m working on a whole book), but suffice it to say that I got the better deal in every way a person could. One night, it occurred to me that if I couldn’t make it work with Caleb, I couldn’t make it work with anyone. So I told him so. “I mean, you’re my best shot,” I said. I guess if I had advice, it would be that—hold out for your best shot.
Sometimes, when we’re sitting around doing normal people things, or when something strikes us as funny, we say, “Haha! This is marriage!” So far, marriage for us has included one debilitating ear infection (how do the babies handle those?), 983 logistical decisions, five conversations about which way the toilet paper goes on the roll, approx. 27 Target trips, a lot of hand holding, and pretty much more fun than I’ve ever had. Sometimes marriage is strained conversation at 4:30 a.m. because the cat is waking everyone up and sometimes it’s giggling because we love each other so much and sometimes it’s dreaming about vacations and babies and sport cars, and sometimes it’s crying because…just because, OK?
I think I understand now, at least a little more, why there are so many different things out there about marriage. It’s like the sky, in a way. It’s huge—bigger than we can understand—and it comes with all kinds of unexpected winds and clouds and metaphorical fodder. We stare at it and we stare at it, but nothing we say stretches all the way around it. There’s no real way to sum it up or explain how to do it. But what’s better than being up there, flying at sunset?
Well, I’m not sure, because I’m not a bird. Actually, I take that back. Caleb, if you’re a bird, I’m a bird.