Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Twenty-Five Years of Elephants

In two weeks, they all go back to school and the house will have a different sort of rhythm and I'll wonder how we'll manage life then too.  It's always overwhelming and then not for me.  I can hear my dad's question to me whenever I'd feel overwhelmed, "How do you eat an elephant?"  I'd snarl, "Who'd want to?"  "How do you eat an elephant?" he'd ask again.  "One bite at a time." is the answer.  It meant, stop feeling overwhelmed and get to work.

Today is our actual 25th Anniversary.  It's also the day I said I'd return to blogging.  We held great celebration in honor of twenty-five years of marriage.  If you'd like to read about it, I wrote about the event in last week's Small Success Thursday, but I didn't post here in keeping with having a sablogital until today.  

Besides, we were preparing to launch our oldest out to Cleveland for graduate work. (Elephant).  We bought a third car. (Elephant).  We bought a ticket for the college girl to fly back. (Elephant).  One of my kids started a job. (Elephant), and five of them are in swimming lessons.  (Elephant --schedule, Elephant laundry).  The dryer is not working.  (Consistent annoying Elephant).

Then there's the other stuff like preparing the rest of them to return to school. (Elephant).  We just need to get school supplies, school clothing, finish summer projects and pack up one for college, get another through college applications and a driver's test, get them back on fall time (hah), and start up all the other routines I've ignored in favor of party prep for the past two months.

 There are moments when it feels like I've got fifty elephants to eat and I'm not hungry.

That's the problem with successfully managing a big event.   You don't get a pass on the small stuff afterwards.  Even my own brain is disgusted with me when after preparing to host seventy-five people by making lists, checking them, following through, I promptly forget to look at my calendar and miss a scheduled dental appointment for two children the next day.   My inner nag raged...If you could manage that...then why aren't you able to manage this?  And if I'm honest, a little voice answered, "Because I'm tired of eating elephants."  

We rescheduled, next week. No biggie.  I made my list of today's elephants.  We'll get the physical forms done, mail a package and buy shoe racks to house all the footwear that twelve pairs of feet own, and a shower rod and a curtain.   I will wonder how we managed the past few weeks as this feels taxing in its own way.  

It's why I need still time.  Today.  Today is important.  Today I have to consider, we started down this road with an epic celebration, and all the time since has been built up of little moments of managing, of somehow filling the hours with love, discipline, adaptations, adjustments, humor, surprises, dates, lessons learned and forgotten, seasons and schedules, elephants.  Today is our anniversary.  Today we promised forever, no matter how many elephants we'd have to eat.   At midnight, my husband gave me a beautiful silver and pearl necklace and some stationary.  The stationary has elephants on it.

Twenty-five luminous years passed in the blink of an eye.   Twenty-five years of cakes and wine, feasts and trips, hospital visits and long hours, laundry and gardens, songs, movies, books and games and it is not enough. There's never enough time.  I will never tire of his company.  It has been thus far, a luminous experience, being married to him. The elephants are part of what makes it lovely. Otherwise, it is a story with no plot.  

So we'll watch our wedding tape, go out to dinner, and toast to the next twenty-five and all the elephants it will bring.   Bon Appetit. 

Scene from the party, a gift from the children who attended, to us.

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