A little over 14 years ago, I walked into a PolySci class while I was at UCLA that would change the course of my life. I’m guessing I chose the class because it seemed like a pretty easy way to check off an overdue prerequisite (after all, Communications was my thing…not Politics), but I ended up learning more than I ever imagined possible.
Perhaps it was because I found a subject matter I was completely surprised to be interested in, but that quarter I opened my mind. And it paid off. I learned to talk freely, and listen openly. I learned to debate, and gained confidence in my personal beliefs. I learned that perfection is in the eye of the beholder. I learned how to laugh with someone, and at myself. I learned that some of the best dancing isn’t choreographed. I learned to love unconditionally—not just someone else, but myself. I learned that, in many ways, dreaming keeps you grounded as you dive into an unknown future.
Honestly, I’ve long forgotten what the class was all about. But I can’t forget the hours that I spent with my lab partner, Lenny, talking about everything from Thursday night parties to cancer to sports to heartbreak—and everything in between. I distinctly remember thinking I wanted to marry someone just like him.
Eight years ago today, I did one better. I married him. And as the years bring us our fair share of celebrations and challenges, I always look back with fondness to those days on Perloff Lawn (where Lenny later proposed). Over the course of time, we formed a deep friendship—a true bond and mutual respect that’s been the foundation for our marriage.
Today, we’re on opposite coasts and have a 3-week-old baby, so we’re not celebrating with a romantic getaway like years past. But you can be sure that tonight I’ll be raising a glass to my husband. I’ll be thinking back to our perfectly imperfect wedding day and smiling. Then I’ll kiss our three kids goodnight and know that, even when Lenny is working hard in some other time zone, there’s a wonderful piece of him here with me.
And this family is exactly the dream we dreamed all those years ago. One that’s kept us grounded, and full of hope for what’s to come.
Happy Anniversary, Lenny! I love you and all that we are together (even when we’re apart!).
Update: The day after I wrote this, I saw a tweet from my fellow Shine Parenting Guru, Mommyfriend, about a blog collective she’s hosting. I shared this on her June Project Marriage Challenge. Check out other people’s stories and share yours too.
Photo of UCLA’s Perloff Lawn from Flickr by c3pomeara.