On Growing Up, Growing Old, and Being Stupid Together

Photo Credit: 123RF
Photo Credit: 123RF

I don’t write about my husband much. Today is an exception.

Matt and I met nearly 16 years ago on a hot and muggy August afternoon during law school orientation. I could tell you that it was love at first sight, that we saw each other and the world shifted on its axis, but really it was more like a gentle swaying of the earth, a falling in love that happened over time.

We were classmates first, and then friends. We were in the same study group, and then we were in love. We went on our first date three months after we met (though what qualifies as the first “date” and who asked who on said date is still up for debate). We were married four years later, and became parents two and a half years after that.

I knew rather early on in our relationship that Matt was The One and that he would make a terrific spouse one day. I’m pretty sure he knew the same about me just as quickly, though he took his time formalizing it with a ring and a down-on-one-knee proposal.

It was worth the wait.

In the beginning
In the beginning

We met in our early twenties and though we felt grown-up and worldly, we were so young and naïve that I almost blush at our innocence and simplistic optimism. We were foolish, impulsive, and, frankly, a whole lot of fun. As Paul Valery wrote, “Love is being stupid together.” We were stupid and crazy about each other, though sometimes we were just crazy. We still are crazy about each other, no doubt, but in a less foolish, calmer kind of way. We’re too tired to be impulsive.

There comes a point in most long-term relationships when you have been together more years than not. We are inching ever closer to that magical number.

There are a lot of really great things about a long-term relationship, not the least of which is friendship, companionship, and a deep and abiding love that develops over time and as a result of all the shit that life throws at you. But one of the really beautiful things about pairing off at a relatively young age is that you don’t just get to grow old together, you get to grow up together too.

Matt and I were together for our wild and impetuous twenties. We were together for our building-up and settling-down thirties. And now, as we celebrate Matt’s birthday, we step into the next decade. What that decade will bring no one knows.  I have no idea what life will throw at us, and I don’t know how we will change and grow, both individually and together.

But what I do know – what I knew back then and still know now – is that there is no one else that I would rather face this uncertain future with than him. There is no one else I’d rather be stupid with than him. There is no one else I would rather grow up with, no one I would rather grow old with than him. Eventually.

Because we’re not old yet, dammit.

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