So, today is a big day: it's my mom and dad's 39th wedding anniversary. Unlike a lot of couples I know (Lipstick's always observing), my parents are still very much in love, and are often like teenagers with each other (in all the good ways). They've been dating since high school (she robbed the cradle) and they're still giddy, even after all these years....
When Dad went on a fly fishing trip with his buddies earlier this year, all he could think about, he said, as he waded the Chilean rivers, was how much he missed Mom and how he wasn't a guys guy, but instead, her guy. Some men might call him a pussy for saying this (and surely he didn't mention it over dinner that night to those he was traveling with), but I call him golden. (My sister-in-law is lucky, as my brother is a chip off the old block.) Mom, who is the epitome of the perfect mother, is one of the most generous, supportive and patient people I know and has allowed my dad to chase his dreams with reckless abandon. His dreams have become hers and vice versa. They are truly a team, united forever, on their journey as one.
Here are some secrets to their success:
They back each other 100% no matter what. They are very loyal and encouraging with each other (even when my dad had a perm -- see photo to right-- she still stood by his side...apparently everyone was doing it???).
I talk a lot about respect in our L & D book and learned all there is to know about it and its importance from watching my parents. They not only respect each other and boundaries associated with a committed, monogamous relationship, but they also respect themselves. Very important. I've said it before, but once you lose respect for someone, it's almost always a nail in the coffin. Unlike trust, which can be reacquired with some vigilant work, loss of respect is tough to reverse. They know it and they guard it.
They work hard (harder than on anything else) to take care of each other and their family every single day. It's is always their first priority and the older they get, this becomes even stronger and more instilled. We are a tribe and we all must remember to take good care of those we love. (Photo from when yours truly was presented as a debutante.)
Bending with a Smile
They still laugh; they still have fun; they still push each other each day. Just the other morning I called and they were getting ready to go spend the day together doing "whatever your mom wants" Dad said. I knew this would include shopping (which he hates and she loves) and that he'd do it with a smile. Just like Mom smiled when they floated down the river the week before even though she'd have rather been home reading a good book (maybe ours!) by the fire. They meet in the middle and bend when the wind blows.
Dad still brings Mom flowers/gifts just because and Mom still whips up their signature "first date" fudge when the romantic mood strikes her and I just love that. I've often pondered how having parents like mine (who are so in love and so supportive of me and my life) have affected me as an individual and I've come to one conclusion: It's made all the difference in the world.
So, I salute them today and wish them a happy anniversary.
I love you.