On the 23rd anniversary of our first date, you asked me if I would’ve asked you if I’d known what would follow.
You didn’t mean the good stuff: the romance and the adventure and the four wonderful kids and the triumphs and the building of a life together.
You meant the tough stuff: the first gut-wrenching stillbirth and the time you almost died and the second gut-wrenching stillbirth and the news that our beautiful baby girl had Down syndrome and the slow realization that our adopted son’s special needs were more challenging in real life than they read on paper.
So many things that we didn’t choose to write into our love story. Things we never imagined; not in our worst nightmares.
There are no rules when you fall in love
You just take what you get and you hope it’s enough
On the 2nd anniversary of our adoption of The Boy, you asked me if I would’ve done it if I’d known what would follow.
You didn’t mean the good stuff: the ear-splitting grins and the endless cuddles and the maturity it’s instilled in our girls and the sense of accomplishment and the hilarity of his latest escapade.
You meant the tough stuff: the extreme lack of sleep and the worries over his health and the overwhelming hyperactivity and the guilty suspicion that our other children are getting short-changed by the sheer amount of attention he requires.
But even more than that, you meant this latest wicked, cancerous curveball that life has thrown at us. This sick cosmic joke that has reduced us from living to merely surviving and redefined romance as the willingness to administer the late night dose of meds.
I said I don’t have much
You said I like what you’ve got
The truth is, I don’t know what 16-year old me would have done if he’d known what was coming. Maybe he would have bolted in the opposite direction as fast as his legs could carry him. Who could blame him?
And I don’t know what the me of three years ago would have done if he’d known what was coming. Actually, that’s a lie. I have a pretty good idea what he’d have done, and I’m not particularly proud of it.
But life isn’t lived with the benefit of foresight. There are no rules when you fall in love – or if there are, life doesn’t feel compelled to follow them. All we can do is offer up everything we’ve got, meager as it may be and shrinking by the day, and hope that it’s enough.
Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions. Maybe it doesn’t matter what the 16-year-old me or the me of three years ago would have done were they clairvoyant. Maybe the real question is this: from the vantage point of Today, would I choose to do it all again, knowing how perilous the journey would be?
Today, I say, ‘Yes.’
Because you are worth it. We are worth it.
Because it’s better to love whether you win or lose or die
It’s better to love whether you win or lose or die
It’s better to love, and I will love you till I die
Glen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.