March 31

Maybe it’s the hormones, maybe it’s my age. I don’t know and I’m not interested in speculating on the specifics of either. But I’ve been very reflective of late and I thought it was time to share.

I started dating my husband at the end of 1984. We were really young. We married in June of 1988 and have lived “happily ever after” since. But that’s a storybook cliche. The truth is so much more complicated – and so much better.

We were so new back then. Our relationship was like a bright, shiny penny laying in the sun. There was lots of flash – in passion, in anger, in joy. We made our way, confident in the permanence of what we had, creating a cocoon in which to protect the precious life we built. As we added to that life, in the form of two beautiful daughters, the flash turned fluid and the days flowed one in to the next, exhaustion becoming a constant companion.

Now we’re older. Our relationship is older too. Our youngest is nearly grown and the oldest has already moved on to her own adventure. We’re looking back with wonder at how quickly it all went but we’re also looking forward toward a new phase of our lives. The bright shiny penny may no longer glint in the sun and the hectic pace of young children has eased. But what’s left has the depth and richness of the finest champagne and chocolate and savoring each drop is a new delight.

When I hear people speak in horrific tones of the tragedy of only sleeping with one person for the rest of their lives – another cliche – I shake my head and chuckle. They just don’t get it. We know each other more intimately than I ever could have imagined, a pleasure in the heart as well as the bedroom. We don’t jockey for position the way we did when we were young. We are confident in the knowledge that there’s room enough for both of us, our needs, desires, hopes and dreams. We find as much joy in the success of the other as we ever found in our own. Maybe more. And we savor. Everything. Every taste of that miraculous chocolate. Every sip of that glorious champagne.

But all this makes me wonder. If it’s so much better now than I ever imagined it could be, what will I say in twenty-five more years?