Up Ahead

Today I celebrate Penny's and my fourth-and-a-half wedding anniversary. She doesn't know it yet.

It's a silly date, I suppose, but four and a half is my favorite number, so it only seems natural to get excited over the day on which it's been four years and six months since our wedding day.


Today was fairly unremarkable, which pleases me to say. We woke up, I made her decaf coffee and English muffins with sliced cheese on top, remembered her prenatal vitamin and reheated her coffee when she was halfway through.

We got to work, and caught up on all the Monday morning emails and admin tasks and whathaveyou. By about 11 we were both nipping at the leftover Halloween candy, so we decided we should have lunch. About an hour and a half later, we actually acted on these plans. Pretty typical for us.

And by then, it was very close to the time when the furnace tune-up man was scheduled to come by, and we (I) only realized this after we'd left to grab lunch. So instead, we visited a furniture store and plopped into big recliners to see which one was comfiest, then headed back home to reheat leftovers.

During the trip I think we talked about Tom and the Marine Corps Ball he had to go to this weekend, which must have sucked. We probably also discussed which car we'd like to get when our lease runs out this month.

She worked upstairs for part of the afternoon, and I worked down here, heading over to the unfinished side of the basement to peek at what the furnace man was doing. Trying to see if there's anything I ought to know how to poke or prod or maintain.

And as the workday wrapped up, she was upset because she had no good ideas for the illustration she's got due tomorrow. So I suggested we go for a walk and talk about it, and we did. The weather is ridiculously nice these days, and a 70-degree walk in firework woods, all lit up with changing colors and streaking sunlight, worked magically to get her ideas flowing again.

Back at home I wrapped up some work and email from the workday, and she got dressed to go try out the yoga classes over at the YMCA. We're hoping they're at least an eighth as peaceful and invigorating (they really can go together) as the ones at our friend Diane's house, back in Columbia.

While she went to yoga I figured out how to attach the headboard to the bed frame, even though they weren't made to go together. It's all set now, and looks fine.

And now I'm sitting here.

Typing this. Waiting for her to come home.


An ordinary day, that makes me feel extraordinarily lucky to be used to. Four and a half years has changed things between us, in so many ways. When I reach to hold her hand now, there's no heart-pounding thrill of wondering whether she'll let me, like there used to be. When I introduce her to a friend now, there's no beaming of pride that this beautiful, talented person would actually want me around.

Of course she would. She's my other half; how could she be there without me? How could I be here without her? The shock and uncertainty have faded, and in their place have grown familiarity and understanding. I'll take it.

It's what I always wanted from the beginning, anyway -- to be close to her. For us to know each other.

And even though I know there are many, many couples out there who would think of four and a half years as "just getting started," it doesn't feel that way to me.

Feels like we've always been together.

One thing is the same, though, as it was in April of 2005, when we hadn't even been married a year, and I waited in our little house on Maxwell Road for Penny to come back from South Carolina -- long before we ever had an idea that we might move there.

I was waiting. Waiting for her to come back. Putting my life on hold, and looking forward to having her there with me so life could finally begin again.


Today I still wait, and still look forward to everything finally "starting," even though life is so obviously still happening, and wonderfully at that.

The difference now is that it's February I'm waiting for, when our daughter will arrive. When Lope will miraculously introduce us all. Everything now seems like preparation, or research for stories to tell her. Things to remember. Things to explain.

We look forward, and toss our minds into the future, which Diane said was a misuse of energy, and she was right. We should live in the present.

But it's so difficult when there is a moment coming that shines so brightly in your imagining.

Waiting, still. The difference now, four and a half years since the day we stood in a freezing park pagoda and promised to love one another always, is this:

Now, we wait together.


Valarie said...

Oh my God, Colin, that was beautiful. You made me tear up.

Hello, I'm Ryan Noel. said...

Man, I can't even touch this. The only appropriate and meaningful response to this is reserved for Penny.

You are blessed to have one another.

P.S. Two words — Dodge Sprinter

Anonymous said...

That's it - I've decided to nominate you for husband of the millennium. Where should I send it? Penny's such a lucky mama :)