Fourteen seems so much more civilized than thirteen. I think of thirteen and all that goes along with the first year of “teenagedom” and my eyes get big and my heart pounds a little faster and harder. When you think of marriage in comparison to our own youth and development, it gets a little scary. The early teen years? The years of awkwardness, facial acne (or was that just me?). Band geek moments. Trying to find my footing socially. Working out what it means to establish my own beliefs. Thinking I was mature and yet, wanting the comforts and support of my parents. The teen years meant more internal, emotional strife. Yet….through all these roller coaster moments, I also have very fond and heart-felt memories of these years too.
And when it comes to marriage in the “teen years”? Well, I’d say fourteen is pretty sweet. I feel greater comfort and “being known and seen” than in the early years. I am growing more confident of my own self, needs and areas for growth (oh, there are SO many areas for growth….sigh…) . We are entering a new stage of parenthood that while harder in certain areas also is easier too as they gain independence.
As I look back on the year that has just ended—thirteen!—I am thankful for the traditions that we continue to solidify. I am grateful for the MANY laughs we have chosen to share (vs. growling and internal implosion) over the parenting journey. I cherish the opportunities afforded to us by grandparents and our dear support team to go out for a meal or a movie or a walk without our kids. I am more thankful than ever for Matt’s humor and wit. It is helped me get through many a hard teaching or parenting day still standing.
Fourteen itself, according to HappyAnniversary.com reminds of these same themes….and gives tips for the traditional gift for fourteen years, IVORY.
Between raising children, working on your careers, and all the other chaotic details of life, the 14th anniversary is one that some people pass by without marking. Instead, plan to get away together for the weekend or overnight. Ship the kids off to your parents’ place at least for one night if you can. By this time in a marriage, we are so busy and often feel pulled in every direction. So plan ahead and set aside alone time for you and your spouse.
Ivory is the traditional material for the 14th anniversary, but please only ever buy products that are made using imitation ivory which is often made using a composite sourced from non-endangered animal bones, tagua nuts, or some other non-animal source. Please never purchase real ivory because that supports an illegal and brutal elephant poaching industry. Better yet, make a donation to the elephant rescue charity in Tennesee. They provide forever homes for elephants who have been mistreated in circuses or found living in inadaquate and cramped zoo conditions. It is truly a gift from the heart!
I can’t say I have managed to purchase anything Ivory or Elephant preservation focused to mark fourteen years (instead I went for the always popular choice….beer, chips and salsa—but at least the beer is MAN GOGH….not quite GOUGH, but still, couldn’t resist that purchase!), but it’s never been about the traditional with us anyhow.
Yesterday we were in the Oakland Airport, ready to board a flight home to Portland after a wonderful trip to the Bay Area for New Years. And a rat entered the airplane after the previous flight had landed. A rat hunt ensued and after 4 hours of updates and reports from the gate employees, maintenance and the amazing pilot himself, our flight was cancelled. Matt, being the creative he is, started tweeting hilarious updates and was picked up by four news sources and asked to skype in for an interview. Our odd little incident became the top story of the day later that night on the news. I can’t insert video footage here, but suffice it to say it was hilarious.
And if our marriage and days can be built on celebrating the odd moments, laughing at our weird predicaments, trying to keep sane and connected even when work and parenting are challenging, well….then that makes me feel like we aren’t doing too bad. Would a week trip to Europe be an awesome celebration of our anniversary?!? Um, yes. But feasible?? Not so much. And that’s fine. Dinner and movie will do. It may not be ivory or saving endangered elephants, but the normal, everyday with a little celebration thrown in, is enough for me.
Happy 14th, Matty!
Past Anniversary Posts:
2017 :: Thirteen
2016 :: Twelve Years (was sick in bed, so we had a yummy post anniversary dinner out a few days later at Frankie’s after a January 3rd snow “storm” where school was closed!)
2015 :: Eleven Years
2014 :: 10th Anniversary Palm Springs Extravaganza
2014 :: Ten Years
2013 :: Nine
2012 :: Eight
2011 :: Contentment (Seven Years)