Monday, October 25, 2010

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then comes Baby in a Batmobile

My favorite photo of us, shopping in Mexico, freshman year of college

It was our Senior year in high school, and we were good friends when he declared his feelings for me in a letter, handwritten on lined college rule paper.  He was quite chivalrous, saying he would give me space from our friendship because his feelings had changed, into something romantic.

I said "Let's see what happens..."

It's hard to find the words to thank a man who has been my companion and closest friend for thirty five years, married twenty four of those today.

He knows the best of me.  He has seen the worst of me. 

In the best of times, created a home together, had two wonderful sons, travelled to places we dreamt of like New Zealand, and Tahiti and London and Paris.

We thought we were invincible.

In the worst of times, we faced financial hardship, buried my Mother, and years later his Father.

We lived and tested and succeeded and failed every vow; we aced some; we are still recovering from others.

We have known for richer and poorer, and back again, and back again.

We have known the blessing of health, and the fear and uncertainty of sickness.

My Mother lived with us in the last days before she died of renal cell cancer at age 46.  Husband did everything he could to help her and help me.

I have vivid memories of him gingerly carrying my Mom up and down the stairs of our small Sausalito apartment, when she could not walk.  He was very patient with her, and believe me, her wounded child self  required a deep well of patience.

Twenty years after my Mom's death, we faced another cancer diagnosis.

One we never imagined.


Sometimes I don't know which one of us has the harder job facing this challenge.

He cannot do this for me, but would if he could.  I can't imagine what it must feel like to see your partner go through something so challenging and often gut wrenching and can do nothing but be there.  I don't know what it must feel like to fear a future that could be lived without your partner.  I don't know what it must feel like to lose a part of your partner's body that was one of your favorites.

All I know is he keeps showing up, day after day, year after year, treatment after treatment, he gets it right, he gets it wrong, through the glory and the devastation.

He keeps showing up.

For me.

For his family.

A deal is a deal.

He is the real deal.

Today is also our son Batman's twentieth birthday. I'd like to say we planned it that way, but I suppose it was planned for us.  Seems like yesterday he was tiny enough to bathe in my bathroom sink, and I could hold him in one hand while rinsing with the other.  Look at him now.

He is the drummer in the video on the far right with shades on, buff black body with my blond highlights, wearing the white shoes his Dad and I bought him when mid tour he said he needed new ones, the turquoise shorts and hands getting ready to move lickety split.  

That's him, my baby, Batman, and he turns twenty today.

Batman is a snare player extraordinaire, one of only nine on the World Champion Concord Blue Devils.  Who would have imagined he would surpass his Dad's licks on a drum?

He is all kinds of man, but this is what I love most about him.

He is the kind of big brother anyone would dream of - protector, teacher, consoler, leader.

He has a heart of mush for animals; that toddler who constantly sought kisses from the cat grew up to be a man who will not hesitate to go out of his way to rescue a lost pet.

He is a kind and thoughtful and committed boyfriend.

He is a silent warrior who is still Peter Pan at heart.  What a joy to see all six foot of him tonight in his birthday Batman snuggie, carrying his favorite present, a Nerf gun given to him by Baby Bear.

It amazing to see our children a composite of us.

Their best is way better.

Their worst is better too.

For all that we have done, none of it was ever done better than these two boys, Batman and Robin.

I think it was another miracle that the day that proceeded tomorrow was today.

A family day.

A reminder of what is sacred and ordinary and perfect in all its misses and imperfections.

A family.



Beneath the Eaves said...

Happy Birthday and Congratulations on all counts. My son is twenty also. Stuns me how the time slips by. Your son is amazing. Perfect combination of his two wonderful parents.

Unknown said...

What a great post and a great video. My husband and I live in Concord and love the Blue Devils. That little snippet of video was quite a treat. Those dudes rock!! My husband said, "they make it look easy, but it ain't easy!" Thank you.

Jill Nogales said...

Beautiful post!
Thinking about you today...

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