"Hey, I guess this makes it real then."
That was the text I sent my fiancee two and a half years ago after we went shopping for my wedding ring and I finally made up my mind.
"E" flew up with the kids and we hit several jewelry stores again, looking for something I liked. There were a couple of rings that caught my eye, but nothing that really stood out. On the way to drop her off at the airport we stopped by a local jeweler whose family I bought "E's" ring from, and I looked around again. We didn't buy anything, but I said I'd come back later in the week and look around some more. When I went back the next day on my own,I was finally able to narrow down my choices to two (both of which we had looked at together the previous weekend), then finally to "the one." I told "E" I had made a decision and she texted me back "Go and get it now so we can be done with this."
I'm thinking back on that day now because our two year anniversary is coming up next month. Those of you who follow my blog know the two of us met back in high school, remained best friends, but it took me roughly 30 years to ask her to marry me. I won't lie, it hasn't been all roses. I've discovered I'm not an easy person to live with. It's tough when you're set in your own ways and have been single most of your life.
Now I have a wife and two kids to think about. Oh, and raising children and learning to be a dad, isn't like a Hallmark movie, it's tough as hell. It's true, you're never prepared for it.
I'm someone who likes structure and order, and having a family throws all that out the door. I also think about how tough it's been for my wife and kids. They're still trying to learn my quirks, moods and OCD about "a place for everything and everything has its place" when it comes to toys and coats and stuff around the house.
There are times I hate the person I am around them, because I don't recognize myself. A lot of it has to do with my strange hours at work, trying to balance chores around the house, unexpected appointments, helping with homework I don't understand, learning the moods of pre-teens, trying to find alone time with "E" and still have a few minutes during the day for me.
I'm guessing those of you reading this who are married are laughing, and would tell me "Get used to it...that's life." You're right, it is, and as I approach my third year of being a married man, I'm going to renew my vow of trying to make myself the best me possible. Not just for me...but for my family.