Today is my wedding anniversary. As we have a double anniversary – we got married on the anniversary of becoming a couple – today is my 4th wedding anniversary, but the 15th anniversary of us getting together. Rather like James I of England, VI of Scotland. It’s great for lots of reasons – it minimises the chances of one of us forgetting the date, it means we can choose which traditional set of gifts is most appropriate, and it makes one really special day for us as a couple. Wikipedia tells me that the traditional gift for 4th wedding anniversaries is fruit or flowers, and for 15th is crystal. To be honest, I’d be more than happy to take the flowers, although won’t be best pleased if my anniversary present turns out to be a bag of apples.
Anyway, whatever the gift schedule, I’m feeling very lucky to celebrate being part of such a life-enhancing partnership for fifteen years, and in this romantic/soppy (delete as appropriate) mood am going to blog fifteen reasons why I love my husband.
1) Because he has been the most constant presence through my entire adult life. The first person I want to celebrate the good times with, and the first person I need a hug from when things aren’t going well.
2) Because together we have created our precious daughter, not to mention a certain rather large baby bump, and there is no bond closer than knowing that he is the only other person in the world who loves our children as much as I do.
3) Because he is a brilliant dad, and watching him with Anna warms my heart like nothing else.
4) Because we make each other laugh.
5) Because together we have supported each other through the loss of four grandparents and a parent, three miscarriages, five house moves and one redundancy.
6) Because together we have celebrated matriculation, graduation, first jobs, promotions, two book publications, first home, two twenty-firsts, two thirtieths, fifteen Christmases, fifteen Valentine’s, our engagement, our wedding, becoming homeowners, becoming parents.
7) Because when I’m over-tired, over-stressed or over-hormonal he runs me a deep hot bubble-bath, lights some candles and pours me a glass of wine.
8) Because he’s just as likely to tell me I look pretty when I’m curled up on the sofa in PJs and no make-up as he is when I’m all dressed up in full slap and high heels ready to go out. Which, in current circumstances, is just as well.
9) Because he genuinely respects and appreciates what I do in being Anna’s main carer and keeping our house running. Not running like clockwork, or on oiled wheels, or any of those other analogies implying unparalleled domestic bliss, but just about ticking over. I don’t think either of us ever expected we’d end up operating in such stereotypical gender roles, but it works because we see ourselves as a team, both bringing equally important things to the family, and recognise our current roles as what works now rather than how things will immutably be forever.
10) Because he has been the most ardent supporter of, and cheerleader for, my writing, believing in me long before I had a publishing contract, and remaining convinced, despite any evidence to the contrary, that I will be heading the bestseller lists before long.
11) Because he’s fab at romantic gestures. Whether that’s a bowl of Rice Krispies in bed (the only thing I can face when I have morning sickness) or whisking me away for a surprise weekend in Rome with a down-on-one-knee proposal in roof-top bar thrown in for good measure.
12) Because he is my favourite person to spend time with. Be that time eating gourmet food in a boutique hotel, snuggling on our sofa with a takeaway or hanging round a freezing cold playground trying to summon up enthusiastic smiles as Anna demonstrates (again) the different ways of going down a slide, things are always more fun when he’s there.
13) Because when he passes someone begging for money, even if he doesn’t give (sadly not really always possible living in London) he invariably makes eye contact, smiles and exchanges a few words, rather than hurrying past embarrassedly. And he helps old ladies with heavy bags and mums with prams and gives up his seat on the tube/bus and holds doors open.
14) Because he’s the exact, dictionary definition opposite of apathetic. He is enthusiastic, deeply interested in the world, and cares passionately about trying to make it a better place.
15) Because when I tell him that the Cath Kidston sale started yesterday and I purchased a new dress and a new bag he is going to be thrilled for me that I have obtained quality goods at such bargainous prices. And very possibly encourage me to check whether there’s anything more that I might like. Ahem.