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Our aluminum anniversary

Today is our 10th wedding anniversary. That's right, one decade ago, I put on the poofy white dress with the sequins and the pearls and the long, heavy train, and I flounced down the aisle toward my man's beautiful smile. If you'd asked me on that day what we'd be doing on our 10th anniversary, I probably would have told you we'd be spending it on a tropical beach, or maybe in Europe, or at the very least, at a romantic little bed-and-breakfast in the mountains.

Ha. Nope.

Instead, because neither of us could come up with an acceptably romantic plan that didn't involve logistical nightmares around the care of our newborn who won't take a bottle, and because we're pretty much broke, we decided to have a low-key evening out as a family. After all, as Chris put it, this is the birthday of our family, so we should celebrate it together. And, really, he and I have spent every day together for the last three months, so a night out as a twosome, though it would be fun, wasn't really necessary.

We left the house for dinner at 3:30, thinking this was before the dinner crowd would mind our screaming baby or our rowdy kid and early enough that we could take our time and not worry about bath or bedtimes. We went to our favorite family-owned pasta place -- a restaurant we used to frequent in our pre-kid years. It's about a 10-minute drive, but I noticed 4 minutes into the trip that Hayden was sound asleep and drooling in his booster seat. So we drove around Delaware for a half-hour to let him snooze. (Interestingly, the part of Delaware that we drove around is about the ugliest part of Delaware, during which time I stared out the window thinking, how the heck did we get here?)

Lucky for us, when we walked into the restaurant at 4pm, there was only one other couple there -- and they were at least 85 years old and speaking loud enough to one another that I knew they had hearing trouble and wouldn't even notice us. We hadn't been to this restaurant in years (and the decor was outdated 10 years ago), and everything looked pretty dingy, including the waitress's funky-ass rotted teeth, but the food was just as delicious as I remember. Hayden was charming, Jake was smiley, we all pigged out on pasta, and we left giggling. It was a nice family time out.

We went to Borders afterward (not really sure why, other than it seemed too early to go home), where I nursed the baby in the back corner of the children's book area (add it to the list!) and Hayden and Chris read to one another. What could be better than a huge pasta meal and some quiet time in a bookstore? Two of our favorite things.

But then we got home. Where all the ants in the neighborhood had converged on our kitchen. There were ants covering every surface -- counter top, floor, cabinet door. AGH! We cleaned that all up, mostly (leaving a few carcasses on the floor as a warning). Chris went outside to spray the perimeter of the house with Ortho, and I got the kids bathed and in bed.

OK, deep breaths, she thinks. Everything is quiet, it's time for the married people to spend some time alone...

I walked downstairs in my pretty nightie so we could cuddle up, watch a movie, and have some us time, and dammit if a thunderstorm doesn't roll through. Hayden freaks out every time he hears thunder, and sure enough, within 35 seconds, he was hysterical and screeching down the stairs so fast I thought he'd hurt himself. He plopped himself between me and Chris, wailing about how we have to protect him, how we have to come upstairs to bed right now, and how we have to let him sleep in our bed.

So here we are. Celebrating 10 years, all sitting on the couch in our respective boxer shorts watching nonsense television. And I'm sure Jake will be waking up screaming to eat any minute.

Not exactly the romantic anniversary celebration I pictured all those years ago, but perfect because this is who are.


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