Once upon a time I was married to Citygirl's dad. Citygirl is one of the biggest blessings of my life. Her dad? Not so much. We divorced when she was only three.
My parents worked as a team, a united front. We never once got away with asking one parent after the other had said 'No'. Dad never got as angry about anything as when we disrespected our Mom - "Don't EVER speak to MY WIFE that way!" was a phrase that I'll never forget hearing. While I can't say my childhood was perfect (they divorced just short of 25 years of marriage), I can say that I learned a lot about teamwork in parenting from them. It was quite clear early on that Citygirl's dad and I were NOT on the same team.
I went on alone. For almost 10 years I rarely dated, and even more rarely dated anyone twice. I expanded my family. I filled the gaps in my life with kids, work, friends, and family.
Then along came Hubby. Sweet, shy, kind, loving. A family man with no family of his own. He walked in, fell in love, and took on a rapidly expanding group of kids with no regrets except the losses. He traveled with me to Guatemala to bring Babygirl home and we married a month later.
It's been over 12 years (OhDearLord we forgot our anniversary again!) since that day when we stood on the altar of our church. Both of us remember feeling as if we were in a bubble, a halo, just the two of us as we said our vows. He moved into a house with six (!) kids 12 and under, and became Dad.
Don't get me wrong. We've had our struggles. Building a relationship in the moments between the chaos was a tremendous challenge. We fought. Bent. Broke. And rebuilt.
My husband is one of the great blessings of my life. He loves me. ME. Not some imaginary image of 'Woman'. He thinks I'm beautiful. I KNOW he is.
We forget our anniversary every single year. It doesn't bother either of us. I think it's because we were already family, the cement firmly in place before he made the decision to come to Guatemala with me. We didn't 'begin' on our wedding day. We were already a team.