I know this blog is called Midlife Mom, but I could also call myself a midlife wife. And today marks another milestone — it’s our 24th wedding anniversary.
We’re still a year shy of the big 25th, but we’ve actually been together since the fall of 1979. So minus the rings and the paperwork, he’s been my significant other for nearly 31 years. Seems impossible — more than half of my life.
Imagine my surprise, then, when a couple of years ago his company sent a letter saying they needed a copy of our marriage license — and birth certificates for each of our children — in order to continue everyone’s health coverage. It didn’t matter that he’d listed me as his wife for more than two decades (we got married after he started working for this company) or that we’d added each child to the insurance coverage as he or she was born over the past 22 years. Even that the insurance had paid for all of their deliveries! Nope. We still had to produce that piece of paper.
So I went on a search. I’m sure it’s probably in a box in the attic, but I couldn’t find it. “This is ridiculous,” I said to my husband. The law would consider us married at this point, even if I can’t find the certificate, I said. But being less than thrilled at the thought of going down in the company record books as his “common law” wife, I put in a formal request for a copy of the license from the courthouse in the county where we were married.
Imagine my second surprise when it came back — with the wrong date! I’m sure it’s just a typo — a 5 instead of a 9. Are you sure we haven’t been thinking our anniversary was on the wrong date all these years, my husband asked? Of course not, I said, producing a copy of our wedding invitation (which I could find), which clearly had my parents requesting the honor of everyone’s presence on July 19, 1986.
It doesn’t matter, I thought, giving him the copy with the wrong date to take to work as proof of our legal union. It is, after all, just a piece of paper.
Of course, that piece of paper reflects our commitment to one another. But it doesn’t make our marriage. The past 24 years have made our marriage — both good and bad. It’s not always easy, but when you make a commitment, you do your best to make it work. And I think we’ve been successful. We have three great kids and a good life. Sure, there are always pieces here and there that could be better, but when you look at the big picture, it’s a good one, I think. Filled with beautiful colors and lots of wonderful memories.
So here’s to my husband, and our family. All have enriched my life in more ways than I could ever have imagined!