Twenty Years

It is completely safe to say that twenty years ago (today) we had no idea (none, whatsoever) of what we were getting ourselves into.

Four children, two moves—London and back, from one house to another, crossing the big divide of our main drag Elm Street—lots of work, boards, coaching, handholding of friends, and on and on, we aren’t the same people, not exactly.

Saskia was distraught last night. “You love Daddy more!” I’m no Ayelet Waldman so I answered, “I love you all.” That was not good enough for a five-and-a-half-year-old daughter. “I want you to love me more than the whole family,” she declared, and dissolved into more tears. She gets teary at the equivalent of AT&T commercials at bedtime. I told her I loved her more.

I explained without loving her papa there wouldn’t be our family. “The brothers would be here,” she said. “No brothers,” I replied. “They needed us together to be their parents or they wouldn’t be here.” And of course immediately, I realized—and so did she—she could be if not here, somewhere. “Where would I be?” she asked. She shrugged. “Auntie Cece?”

And there it is. Life is strange. We hugged each other hard. “My feelings get hurt easily,” she explained.

That girl has a lot of self-knowledge for being not even six.

Do I digress? Not really: we had no idea what we got ourselves into with this whole marriage and children concept. But, wow, we’re lucky. We were lucky the day we married—a huge bash, so many important people who loved us gathered, and gorgeous weather for the outdoor ceremony. Even now, when I look back and think it was outrageously big and a lot of effort for a day, I’m glad we did that. I’m glad for that day—and really every other one since, even the ones that haven’t been entirely as thrilling.

Almost the entire household seems to have landed a cold that’s just no fun at all, my dear hubby and me included. Despite the colds, we will celebrate a wee bit (it’s a surprise), because, hey, twenty years.

Sharing: I wrote an essay about a realization I had in the ongoing tummy conversations—that often what Saskia wants to hear about isn’t so much tummies as when she was small. Nashville’s back! I suggest you listen, watch and love. (Full disclosure: Homeland, too). We are in the HOMESTRETCH (nearly, at least in terms of time) for our Indiegogo to raise money to support FoodStampsx2. Ben and Oona went on a field trip to Ithaca to see their farmers’ market and discovered that although Ithaca’s market is three times larger, its FoodStampsx2 program is the same size as ours is. We are impressive! Help us remain amazingly so. Besides, our video is adorable if I do say so myself (thanks to Chris Landry and Stephen Richardson).

Grateful: I am totally more in love with my husband now than when we got married. I am totally love my children more than the day we met, and I’m less afraid than the day I met that first one, the game changer boy. I’m grateful for a gorgeous start to autumn, one that’s reminded me (again) how glorious New England can be with its ever-turning seasonality. It’s not enough to feel fortified for the cold to come, not quite. It never is. It’s close, though.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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