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The Secret Behind Our Six Happy Years

My wife and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary, and I gotta tell you I felt a little short-changed. Because the traditional sixth anniversary gift is candy. Which, when you think about it, reduces a pretty special occasion to little more than Valentine’s Day. And let’s face it. Valentine’s Day kinda sucks. (Show me someone who disagrees and I’ll show you a Hallmark executive. Or Cadbury, maybe.)

But last year? Our anniversary was awesome. Because the traditional gift for a fifth anniversary is wood. You know, since wood, like a couple that makes it five years, is strong and long lasting. So while I can’t tell you what, exactly, I gave Caroline for our fifth anniversary, I can tell you this:

I was, um, sporting wood while I was, you know, giving it to her. (Simply. Atrocious.)

But seriously, for the two of you still reading, this anniversary, the candy anniversary, was actually better than the wood anniversary for reasons that had nothing to do with gifts or bad puns.

First off, Luke was only five weeks old last year, so we were still adjusting to his arrival. And while we’re at it, the triplets were only three, which is essentially the crescendo of toddlerhood, which meant that those were trying days, indeed.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not like we’re on easy street this year. But it doesn’t feel like we’re mired in the trenches anymore, either. At least not as much. Which means that for once, my wife and I had enough time on this anniversary to reflect back on all we’ve been through these past six years.

And it was that reflection that made it so wonderful, as the day took on an air of gratitude that lifted us both. For once, our anniversary was a true celebration of our love. We spent much time discussing all of our many blessings — our five children, the 21 aggregate years of parenting them and, of course, each other, being chief among them.

It’s funny. Caroline and I are a bit of an odd couple proof, I suppose, that opposites really do attract. She’s always been the very epitome of well-organized domesticity while I’ve always skewed more toward chaotic, bachelor dumb-assticity.

She stocks the fridge, I raid the pantry. I love to camp, while her idea of camping out (well, before I converted her) is, and I quote “ordering room service from the Ritz.” Caroline could spend two hours in The Container Store looking for sub containers to better organize her containers. I could spend two hours looking for my keys. Briggs makes her sneeze. Briggs makes me laugh. And the list goes on and on.

Yet those differences are the secret to our six happy years. They’ve done nothing but draw us closer together. I mean, our life is filled with utter chaos our five children seeing to it that we never get a moment’s rest. And we have such different ways of dealing with that chaos. And it’s those different ways of coping which have spawned what anyone who knows us in real life would tell you is an odd charm — perhaps even the glue — of our coupledom — our feisty banter.

A banter which is of the flirty-flirty variety, if that makes any sense. Playful jabs with but a shred of truth to them, much like the back and forth of a little boy and girl on the playground the ones who pretend they don’t like each other despite the fact it’s so very obvious that they totally do.

That youthful vibe has served our love quite well. For not only does it enable us to laugh at extreme situations, it also enables us to laugh at each other as well as ourselves as we walk through them.

Yes. This was our best anniversary yet. Because we finally had time to appreciate it this crazy, beautiful and wild ride we’ve found ourselves on. And while I may not know exactly where this ride’s going, I am certain of this: I’ll be sitting right next to Caroline for its entirety.

Possibly delivering the occasional pot shot.

And definitely laughing.

What an incredible six years we’ve had, y’all. I hope there’s 60 more just like them.

Read more of JCO Multiplied:
How the DVR Ruined My Vacation in Specific and Parenting in General
Beach Vacation by the Numbers
15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter
Read me on YahooShine and AimingLow
Check out my personal blog over at JohnCaveOsborne(dot)com

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