When I was 20 years old my boyfriend gave me a promise ring. We had been together for about 10 months, but we knew.
It was the first time that a guy had given me any jewelry. I had dated a couple other guys before him, but nothing serious. This was the first relationship that I had where I felt like I was part of a couple. I wasn’t just me out there alone, someone loved me.
2 and a half years later, I married that man.
Fourteen years ago we were kids playing grown ups on our honeymoon to Jamaica, and last week we got to return to that beautiful island for a way too short trip, just the two of us. Aside from a weekend in Chicago that rained and cancelled our plans two years ago, this was our first vacation with just the two of us and it was AMAZING. There is a lot I could say about the excursions we went on, the wonderful food and drinks we had, the relaxing resort with the best staff, the fun couples we met. But what I most want to remember is how much we have grown from the kids on their honeymoon 14 years ago. The honeymoon when we celebrated loving one another so much that we wanted our whole family and all of our friends to know that we were committed to each other in marriage forever does not hold a candle to the 3 days I spent with this man who has loved me through my best and my worst.
The newlyweds were all over the island. I guess a lot of people get married on New Years, and I couldn’t help but think that these kids playing grown ups have no idea the roller-coaster in store for their next 14 years. I hope they are all as lucky as I am to be able to look across the table/hot tub/beach chair/relaxing hotel room balcony and think, “Wow, I thought I loved you on our honeymoon. Now I know what love looks like when your spouse coaches you through an anxiety attack, when you sit hopelessly in a hospital while tests are run on your partner, when you lose a loved one, when you celebrate new houses/jobs/babies. With the good and the bad, the love just grows and grows.”
I wonder if the couples there celebrating their 50th anniversary looked at us the same way. I hope they did.
This trip was the best thing for my marriage, and I really don’t want to make it another 14 years before we do this again.
Sorry about picture quality – the old ones are pictures of pictures, the new are screenshots of video. They are both from some of the best days of my life.
Look at these baby grown ups!
14 years, 2 houses, and 3 babies later
If one gray hair shows, I’ll be fine
If my waistline grows, I’ll be fine
Even if time takes its toll
We’ll stay young for the rest of our lives
– From Tim McGraw and Faith Hills Song, The Rest of Our Life