four years ago today i woke up around 9 am. i was in the house i had lived in all of my remembered life (age 7 onward). i was in what used to be my brother's room in his ralph lauren-draped hardwood sleigh bed. there were about 8 other people in our house, a record perhaps for our reclusive family. all 4 original vincents plus 4 of my best friends who would be bridesmaids for me later that day. by noon the house would packed with my cousins, all 8 bridesmaids, a professional hair and makeup lady and 2 amateur ones who would later become actual friends (BF and godmother lena was the hair lady!).
i was wearing size 6 jeans that were a baggy on me, had an awesome tan, perfect nails and every hair-producing follicle on my body had been brought under my full and iron-fisted dominion. all i could think about was marrying jesse in a few hours...and then something-ing else jesse a few hours after that for the first time ever (sorry dad, that's the best i can do. i can't wait until you're dead to talk about this stuff since you've tacked on like 30 extra years to your life expectancy with your new lifestyle). i was hot and bright-eyed and excited and oh so naive and stupid.
this morning i woke up at 6 am. i was in a tiny house that i adore when it's clean and detest whenever it's dirty or i see a bug. i was in our beloved ikea bed that i love for being 1 foot high except for when i am 8 months pregnant and, being slightly planetary myself, more subject to earth's gravitational pull. there were 3 other people in the house with me: jesse, judah and our sister (in-law) elena. a sleepy headed, pajama (re: underpants) clad jesse was getting up to retrieve judah and bring him to our bed; the sight of which (minus the kid) would have exploded my loins 4 years ago. judah, of course, boycotting the upcoming daylight savings by waking up an hour EARLIER than normal rather than and hour later was caterwauling from his room. and elena, staying with us while the dukes are out of town, with her newly broken ankle snoozing peacefully on the couch after an evening of ogling ty pennington throughout several tivo'd episodes of extreme home makeover.
i was wearing a size XL t-shirt that i bought after having judah for its conveniently jerk-downable-boob-hoistable deep v-neck and which i am having no trouble filling up with milk-making tissue, general fluff and new stretch marks (wtf? couldn't she just use the same ones that were already there?). i am a shade of pale that can only be described as epidermis de octogenarian, except for the patches i managed to fry on our mexi-vacay which have since peeled off and left a little color, making those areas "dirty-bathub off white." my nails are darling stumps gnawed off during the 8th viewing of elmo and chris' camping trip. and the follicles i had so proudly bent to my will those years ago have fought back with a vengeance for which i have no recourse as i can't reach 75% of them due to the fetus clinging to my insides which prevents me from bending. all i could think about was how to trick judah into one more hour of sleep, and once again what i would be doing with jesse just a few hours later...napping. i was bloated and sleepy and not naive at all about my current reality.
as i lay there rubbing judah's tiny perfect back in the dark while feeling his little sister waking up and tossing about in my huge stomach; laying beside the dude who installed those two babies and loves them as much as i do--and who loves me even more-- i realized that the glowing bride of october 1st, 2006 never would have wished for anything resembling this morning in any of her dream-scenarios for what life would look like. that's why she was stupid and naive.
4 years was enough to get me a high school education and then a college education. but i am more proud of the schooling i have received in these most recent 4 years. about what love really means, about who i am actually doing this with and for, and about how hard we have to fight for it. four years feels like forever to us, but i know it's just a blink. so i am so thankful for how far we have already come and the much longer path laid out ahead of us.
we may not be as fun to look at or as shamelessly optimistic as we were back then, but i'm cool with that. i'll take this uncomfortable, challenging, magical reality any day because i actually was really smart in one important way back on that day four years ago. i said "i do" to the most perfect match for my heart. not the most perfect guy, but the most perfect partner. momentary flash of genius.
freaking skinny little tools. you don't even know how fat and crazy and happy you're going to make each other.
well-worn and broken in. there's good stuff here. fluffy and wrinkled, but oh so good.
happy anniversary, jesse. i love you!