I had a slight argument with my daughter today.
“It’s your parents anniversary today, kiddo.”
“No it’s not.”
“Actually, yes it is. October 22.”
“No it’s not. We don’t have cake.”
To my three year old, nothing is worth celebrating unless it comes with cake and ice cream. And possibly streamers and balloons. It’s so linear to her- an anniversary is a celebration, celebrations have cake. We have no cake, hence, I must be sorely mistaken. It couldn’t possibly be our anniversary.
I’ve ruminated on her observation this afternoon. Our anniversary has fallen during the week, and as such and due to the season we’re in with a small child in the mix, celebrations have looked an awful lot just like every other day. We say well wishes, joke about taking pictures in the rain all those years ago, how we were the first people to leave our own wedding reception and move on to the steaming of broccoli (the only green vegetable our kid will eat) settle in on the couch and proceed to follow every other day protocol: run downs of the day, dishes in the dishwasher, lunches in lunch boxes, brushing teeth, trying not to fall asleep in the living room during Ink Master reruns.
But something about El’s refusal to accept what today signifies snapped me to attention. Hey. We’ve been together for ten years. Married for nine. That’s actually, in the grand scheme of things and the world around us, an accomplishment worthy of celebration. We have committed, for better and worse (and we’ve had plenty of both) ourselves to the other for nearly a decade. That’s more than double our kid’s ENTIRE LIFE.
We were going to just put our anniversary on hold until the weekend when things aren’t so rushed and tiresome. We were going to just kind of sail through it, and not overlook it necessarily, but give it a gentle nod instead of a song and dance. But I dug out some pillar candles and polished the holders. I put on a dress I just had dry cleaned and let my kid go nuts with some handcrafted decorations to hang in the dining room. I even put lipstick on before grabbing my keys.
“Come on, El, we gotta go to the store to get some champagne and a cake.”
“That’s a great idea, Mama. Now’s it’s a real Anni-bur-sorry.”