12 Years

Today is a good day.  Today I am celebrating my husband’s birthday.

Next month my husband and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage. That number may not be as impressive as 10 or 15, but it’s a fun number for me. You see, my husband and I have an age difference of 12 years. This year, I will be the age he was when he married me. 12 years of marriage. 12 years apart in age. 12.

I never expected to marry an “older” man. In fact, my exact plan was to marry somebody right about my age. He would never be bald, he would definitely not have chest hair, and he would never, not ever be named William.

But then I met Kevin, whose first name was William. And he shaved his head while we were dating and he had chest hair.

Le Sigh. If people would just do as I ask and be how I asked, that would be great. But apparently life doesn’t work that way. Not even in my novels.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with chest hair. It’s just that when I was young I couldn’t understand it. Like, other girls would be all like, “I can just imagine running my fingers through his chest hair!” and it really confused me. I mean, what if it got tangled? Do you brush that stuff? Trim it? Does it reach out and try to strangle you in the middle of the night? Does it migrate?

Bless my soul. I had an imagination and I was very literal. It’s a strange combination. Unless you happen to be a writer. Or maybe you have to be a writer.

A lot of people are surprised at our age difference, and I get it. He joined the army when I started Kindergarten. He had seen over a decade of adult life when I was just starting out. But I have also been an old soul my entire life.  In a lot of ways, we were different.  Still in a lot of other ways, we were the same.  We both had childhoods composed of being left out.  We were both very kind oddballs.

12 years, as an adult, is nothing. And getting to skip his twenties, even though he put up with mine, was probably worth it. (At the same time that I say that, I am truly sad that I missed out on 12 years of him.)

12 years. People can change a lot in that time. Life changes a lot. He has two degrees now. We have four children together. We have made it through several years when he was only home to sleep, and the years that came after when the kids and I had to adjust to him being home. We have both grown as individuals, and have had to relearn each other.

I have him and he has me.  I know him.  He’s the kind of man who would wake up in the middle of the night to sit with me as I cried out in pain because nursing sucked.  I still know that if I need him, I can roll over and wake him, and he’ll hold me in the middle of the night.

If I’m being ornery, I wake him in the morning.  But in my defense, sometimes when I wake him up early in the morning it’s for fun and not an errand.  Speaking of which, Kevin and I would like to apologize to the rest of Oklahoma and some of the surrounding states for all those earthquakes.  It’s just when two fat people have really good sex, you have to expect the ground to roll just a bit.

We have worked hard these last 12 years. We have chased dreams and lost dreams. We have lost sleep in the middle of the night as we took care of our children or fought each other. We have lived through heartaches and losses and trials. We have managed me deciding to write books and make art while homeschooling our children.

12 years ago I was in my early twenties and he was in his mid thirties. Now we are in our mid thirties and forties. I am still in love with the man. He is a good man, and one of very few people I trust completely with my heart.

Today I celebrate my husband.

This year I celebrate 12.

I celebrate oddballs.

I celebrate defying the odds.

I celebrate love.

What will life look like in 12 more years?  I can’t wait to find out!


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