It’s a special day for us.  BrightSide and I have been married 21 years today.  Twenty-One Years. Yup.  That’s a long time.  Not as long as our parents have been married, as T-man matter of factly pointed out, but still.

There’s some other big math going on, too.  We’ve now spent eleven years as parents.  Right around that, anyway.  It was eleven years on May 31st.  Realizing I’ve had more than a decade of being called mom is a little overwhelming, to be honest.  Where did the years go?

And that question got me thinking.  We’ve got a pretty interesting timeline going here.

For 9 years, 10 months, and 5 days it was just the two of us.  BrightSide and me, partners in crime.  And then there was T-man.

For 1 year and 18 days it was just the three of us.  BrightSide, T-man, and me, bumbling through learning how to be a family.  And then there was Bear.

For 10 years, 1 month, and 5 days now it’s been the four of us.  BrightSide, T-man, Bear, and me, tackling adventures and slaying dragons.  We’ve all been through better and worse, sickness and health, toddler tantrums and tween hormones.  We are the very definition of forever family, bound not by blood but by love, sweat, tears, and joy.

It’s startling to realize BrightSide and I have now spent more of our married life with kids than without.  That we’ve been a family longer than we were a couple wandering the world, watching this parenting thing from the outside, wondering when we’d have a chance to give it a shot ourselves.

There’s no doubt about it – it’s been a roller coaster.  An incredibly twisty, turny, loop de loop roller coaster.  We’ve had moments of exhilaration and delight along with terrifying instances when I wondered if everyone had their harnesses securely fastened.  But we’re still here, going strong…’cause really, when it comes right down to it, what other choice is there?

Happy anniversary, BrightSide.  There’s no one else I’d rather take this journey with than you.