Our sixteenth anniversary occurred on vacation. My aunt watched the kids while we went out to eat. It was our last night in Florida so we didn’t take longer than we absolutely had to. We drove back to my aunt’s to spend a little more time with Grandma and Grandpa.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped by Publix, our favorite Florida grocery store. Elianna and I jumped out and clasped hands. When it’s just her and I, we always hold hands walking into a store. I cherished the moment, knowing we’ve been set on the path to outgrow this.
We were looking for limes and margarita salt. The lime we found quick, but finding salt was delayed. It was on the complete opposite side of the store. In my limited knowledge of alcoholic drinks, I glanced at the corner housing beer and the wine. I figured sea-salt would have to do.
Elianna found the salt, alive beyond the aisle in a back-facing corner. She says I technically found the salt, but I wouldn’t have found it if it weren’t for her. While my eyes were scanning the hanging signs for “Spices”, she called from behind me, “Mom, this stuff here says ‘margaritas'”.
Dad made the drinks and I settled the kids. They really don’t need too much settling anymore, but every night I try to give a hug and a kiss. I didn’t think of it then, but we’ve spent a chuckling amount of our wedding anniversaries with all of our family squished together in hotel rooms.
The kids watched from their beds as the happy couple toasted from a chair and a couch cushion. I like to ask couples for advice on their anniversaries, and this night we offered up advice of our own. He said, “Be polite and respectful to each other.” I said, “Love the person for who they are.”
I think what I meant by that is “Don’t judge.” Leave plenty of space for each person to be themselves. Marriage is more than an intimate closeness. There are present-day pickles, and long-term vantage points, and others besides our own selves to consider. There’s a whole world outside of our own selves to discover.
I don’t understand. It doesn’t always make sense.
Thanks be to God who’s always known what He’s doing.