Ten years, my love

Ten years.
One says the words easily,
they spill from the mouth like laughter,
like a sigh,
a sob,
a moan.

But it's more,
much more,
a lifetime it seems
at times.

And yet,
like we went to sleep one night
and the next day
we grew tired and old.

Months before our wedding,
I remember,
walking home from the corner store,
I thought of our marriage,
months away,
and it seemed far
like the mountains in the horizon.
It made me wonder
and it made me laugh
to think that before I knew it
it would have all gone.

And it did,
but I didn’t fathom being here
ten years after.

Ten years,
Half the time spent
just finding our way.
To being your wife,
more to being your partner.
Me more than you.
You, who takes to everything like a fish to water.
But me,
complicated old me.
I have to turn things inside out,
twist life senseless
before putting it on like a shirt.

Our life’s biography
A laundry list of a decade:

Two countries,
and three coast-to-coast moves.
Two rented apartments,
and a lease of a house.
Three mortgages
and debt management,

Three double pink lines,
but only one
48-hour-long grueling labor,
well worth it for her.
Pelvic trauma and PPD.

Our endless disgust
to parenting books and Ferberizing,
our laissez faire.

Three years of infertility,
Four rounds of IVF.
An autoimmune disease.

Nothing to show for it

Two miscarriages,
Four D&C’s and Cytotec.
To be bonded forever in life and death

Six times I’ve gone under,
six times waking up to your eyes.
And that time you almost broke the sunroof
of your car
because I hurt too much.

Two companies for you,
graduate school and five universities for me.

More weight (for me)
Less hair and more beard (for you).

Lasik, glasses,
Less Hawaiian shirts,
More pantsuits.

Building a house,
buying a dog.

Daily drop offs to three day cares and two schools.
A bilingual child,
our swimming footballer ballerina
with her tooth gap smile.
Her ancient philosophy,
her clever puns.

Learning again all that we thought we knew
Learning to love pink and purple
and princesses,
and unicorns.

Too many half-way done projects to count,
weekly trips to Home Depot,
three luscious gardens.

To get dirty with mud and happiness,
spending weekends cold and wet
planting and weeding on our knees.

All the road trips,
Maui twice,
Climbing up the Eiffel tower,
Taking the Chunnel from Paris to London
Space Mountain,
(“Never again,” I vowed)
Countless airports in cities I've never truly visited.

Dancing at weddings
until our clothes got ripped,
until our feet blistered.

Getting too drunk
more times than we’d like to admit.

A 7th year it itch,
those years when we loved each other
but we weren't our favorite people in the world.

PF Chang’s every time we had a broken heart.

Your optimism,
my fatalism.

Your military grade bed-making obsession,
and my messy ways.

Your love for tags
and driving creatively.
My need for silence in cars
and my unending chatter everywhere else.

Our shared stubbornness.

Family therapy,
two gym memberships.

Dinner parties,
several sets of friends.
Superbowls an World Series.
A gold medal for Mexico at the Panamerican games.

Two US presidential elections.
Only a Mexican one.
A green card,
my citizenship ceremony.
All the red tape and bureaucracy
of the Mexican immigration service.
Your learning the words to the Mexican national anthem,
my learning of the checks and balances system
and Guy Fawkes day.

Lazy Sundays watching movies,
torrented British shows.
Doctor Who
and Harry Potter
with 3D glasses on.

Deciding that the first one
to throw in the towel
would have to leave with our debts.

A published book of poetry
written only for you.

But most of all,
ten years of the undeserved love you have for me,
all those years of me being lost and unhappy,
of mood regulators and watching TV until dawn.

All those years of love
and your shoulder to cry on.

All the times you’ve tickled me
and made me laugh like a child
with your made up songs.

ten years is barely a moment.
A miracle.
A big bang.

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