Monday, October 12, 2015

A Decade

On October 22nd, Laura and I will have been married for a decade.  Ten years of wedded bliss. And trauma and intense personal growth and community building.

We decided to throw ourselves a party.  A big one. Like 100 people big.  Cuz...go big or go home, right?

That seemed like a great idea when I booked the location 4 months ago, before I stumbled into ye old pit of despair and before Laura herniated a disc in her neck (more about that soon, I'm sure, as she's scheduled for surgery a week from today).  About 3 weeks ago, I had a total and complete freak out. Like, "I don't care if we lose the deposit, I want to cancel the party" freak out.  An "it all feels like too much work and something will go wrong and it will all be ruined and I'm just going to end up disappointed and you're so grumpy from being in pain and on pain meds that I'm not even sure I can pull it together to LIKE you at our party so let's just call the party off RIGHT NOW", kind of freak out.

That was actually the night I figured out I was depressed, because one thing I know is that my life is better with Laura in it and I want the world to know that and we have an amazing community and I love food and I instantly fall head over heels again when Laura does her adorable faux goofy-but-actually-really-hot dance moves, so if I didn't want that, then something was seriously wrong.  It was a kind of useful freak out, as freak outs go.

So...we had the party.  And it. Was. Perfect.  Not disappointing.  Not even a tiny bit.  A few folks I really hoped would be there didn't make it and I hardly got to talk to the ones that did, but there was enough food to feed an army and bands of kids were running around wild and happy and the adults all looked relaxed and smiling and dancing (thank you Kris Woolery for the most bad ass playlist!).

One thing I hadn't really planned was clean up.  I figured I would just do it myself.  I tells you a lot about my psychology. As the end of the evening approached I started looking around and realized how much work it was going to be.  Before I could start to get into work mode, our dear friend Saun-Toy grabbed Laura and I and the 10 or so friends left. She pulled us into a circle and proceeded to start the most beautiful shower of love and affirmation for us.  After folks gifted us with some of the most powerful and lovely words I have ever received, a group of 3 stayed and clean up was done in 20 minutes. I didn't have to ask for help.  It just...happened.

Our last friends walked out the door as my new favorite song came on - "What Do You Mean" by Justin Beiber (I  have no shame. I know I turn 40 in 3 months,but I'm a Belieber.  Whaddya gonna do?).  Laura grabbed me for a slow dance and I melted into a puddle of tears.  When I pulled it together I managed to squeak out "I just feel so SEEN.  It's the thing I wanted most growing up and it's really happening.  They really see us and what we're trying to do".  As Laura kissed me softly on the forehead and drew me in closer, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of contentment.  I haven't felt that feeling in...years.

As we close out an incredibly difficult decade, I am finding myself feeling so hopeful about the decade to come. During the silent meeting we had the morning of our party, an analogy came to me that summed up what I think this last decade was about.  Laura's grandmother was a sculptor and she described sculpting not as creating something, but taking away the excess so that the form could show itself.  I feel like what has happened over the last decade, starting with Laura's head injury a few months before our wedding and continuing through all that it's meant to be a parent of a medically fragile kid, have revealed both who we are as a couple and who I am as a person.  There were a few places where we got gouged too deeply, FOR SURE, but mostly I'm realizing that this decade was about clarifying who I am and what I stand for and what is important to me and the same for us as a couple and as a family.

My vision for the next decade is that life will smooth out those rough edges left from the first pass, sand away the deep gouges and buff us with gentle strokes until we shine.  Cuz, if life comes at me with another chisel anytime soon I'm going to have to kick some serious ass.  I'm serious.  Hand to hand combat.

Otis and Simon's Godmamas lookin SHARP!

There was another food and drink table besides this!

Me and my Papa and his too-cool-for-school pants


Me and my Mama

The fabulous Cherry

Who says parents of kids with special needs can't have a good time?!

Parental units

I don't even know what is happening with Laura's face here.  But Pete looks lovely!
Simon's Dunkle Mike!

Cousins Uma and Girija who travelled over an hour to be there!

Girls dancin!