Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ten Years

It was ten years ago today that I brought my girlfriend to a Starbucks in Manhattan, got down on one knee, and read a poem to her asking her to marry me. She said yes, and single life ended for me.

She was my second real girlfriend, the first one having ended in disaster a little over a year earlier. We met in a friends car, went bowling together with a group, and then I called her two days later. We went to the circus, then a Mets game, and before long, we were hanging out a few nights a week and spending Shabbat together, usually at my yeshiva.

Dating was fun. We were young and wild, and not really interested in what anyone thought. We thought that life was always going to be a huge party.

Ten years is a long time though, and I would be lying if I said she hadn't changed at all. She has changed, and I don't think the 20-year old her would recognize the thirty-year-old woman she has become. Motherhood does that to a woman. So does credit card debt, new friends, mortgages and a job with responsibility.

Where once she was carefree and crazy enough to do anything, now she is cautious, and thinks twice before she makes a sudden move.

That's not always a bad thing. I have changed too, although I like to think not to the same degree. I can't remember the last time I went to a strip club, or even a bar to hang out with the guys. Those nights have been replaced with Wednesday night hockey games, Monday Night Football BBQ club, a chavrusa and a shuir.

Change is inevitable though, and if we stayed the same people we were, with three kids, I don't know that we would have lasted this long.

There have been lots of highlights over the ten years. When we used to spend Shabos at yeshiva in Great Neck, the Rosh Yeshiva used to tell his father, a Rosh Yeshiva who spent Shabbos with us as well, that we were engaged long before we even considered getting married.

There was the birth of children. Introducing my oldest to Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer the first night he was born. My last birth, that of my daughter, was my favorite. Less than two hours after getting to the hospital, she was born. Interestingly, that was my wife's least favorite birth, as the fast delivery meant that my daughter was born without the benefit of pain-killing drugs.

We drove to Tampa Bay to watch the Lions lose in the playoffs one year. It was probably our best trip ever, in no small part because of the spontaneous nature of the trip. The Lions got in the playoffs on the last day of the season. The next day, we decided to go watch them play. We piled into the car on Wednesday, spent a few days driving south, spent Shabbos in Miami, and got to Tampa a few hours before game time.

We stay together, though, because almost every day, something fun happens. Something unexpected, and it keeps us going on through the tougher times.

We can overlook the forgotten birthdays, Mother's Days, anniversaries, and other things because we choose to let it go, instead of fighting about it and letting it linger.

The next ten will be different. There are no plans to increase the size of our family, the five of us are who we are bringing to the fray. In ten years, my boys will be 18 and 15, my daughter will be 12. My wife and I will turn 40. I don't know what the next ten years will bring. They may be the most challenging yet, raising teenagers, figuring out where to send them to school, and watching them develop into young adults.

We've had a good run so far. No reason to think the next ten can't be just as good.


Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Great post Air Time! Boy oh boy, I'm coming up on 9 years myself :-)

I se you got your site meter up and running. Congrats.

January 05, 2005 8:42 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Air Time -- Thanks for leaving a comment on my "I want my bed" post. I think all young parents have the same experience. When it gets really bad, I just try to think that in about ten years or so, I'll long for the days when my kids were cute, cuddly, and hogged my bed every night.

Loved your anniversary post. I'm just a week shy of my 10th anniversary. BYW -- I went to a yeshiva in Great Neck, too. Was across the street from the LIRR station and eventually split up, then evaporated. I was there its first six months.

Last..."We could make out on the streets of New York, fool around in the Yeshiva dorm," Well...yes...I also remember a time when it was normal for frum Jewish boys to hang out (and make out) with frum Jewish girls. Today, you'd be "at-risk."

January 05, 2005 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're all right. thanks

January 07, 2005 12:32 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...


January 07, 2005 12:33 AM  
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