"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

With This Ring

My husband and I recently attended a going away party for some friends moving to the Big Apple. We sat laughing and joking with a whole bunch of other, younger folks, as probably one of the only three married couples present. He teased a particular pair who'd been dating for seven years about taking their time getting off the runway. She made the comment, indicating my wedding ring, that they couldn't even afford one of those. Of course I laughed out loud and tactlessly said, "What? This old thing? I only wear it when I don't care how I look." to which Newel added, "It's not the party that counts -- the after party is where it's at!"

It's funny to think back on all the hoopla of the beginning now. What I didn't know then was that the wedding wasn't the target, but the marriage and what it would bring. A family so full of life's daily experiences pulling us together. There are times when Newel will playfully harass me about nearly daily blogging and I say, it's my journal and how can I not? There's so much happening in a day's time that I don't want to forget. I could never record all of the impressionable moments of a single day even if I wanted to. It all comes at me that fast. Something a child says while I'm making our dinner. A conversation I'm privy to as I'm chauffeuring a carload of kids. Games children invent as I'm working some task. Artwork found in backpacks cleaned out. Memorable moments happen at the least expected times. They could so easily be missed if I let the day to day take over and yet, might not ever happen without the day to day, either.

On our last trip together, Newel and I strolled through a mall. So out of the ordinary for us and while holding my hand, he asked when was the last time that I'd gotten my wedding ring cleaned. That made me chuckle and reply, "three quarters of the way to never", and so we swung into a nearby jewelry store. The salesman behind the counter obligingly took one look at my ring and declared it long over due. After placing it in the cleaner, he returned to joke about the length of time it might take to dislodge the bread dough stuck in the spokes and the pretty blue paint on the diamond's underside. "Ah well", I added, "it goes well with the scratches from the number of times I've hooked it in the dryer and the crack in the stone from the time I banged it cleaning the porcelain tub." Jewelers aren't amused by those sorts of things but regardless of the blank stare, the ring came out beautifully.

I've thought about my life being just like this ring. Okay yes, like I said, a lot of hoopla at first. The newness of marriage, babies and homemaking. And over time it's probably safe to say that everyone gets covered in at least a few scratches and cracks with a little gunk mixed in for good measure. I know I am, whether it's visible or not. Then, routine sets in and busy-ness gets stuck in the spokes because there's a lot of living done here.

Beneath all of it, though, is something really rare and precious. I'm grateful every day for marriage and family and the life I'm blessed to enjoy. I know it's not always that way for everyone and I know that opportunities don't arise equally. But I'm so appreciative of the plan specifically designed for us. It's goods and it's bads are what bind us together. Children to parents and spouses to one another -- it's what being a family means.

And though my life feels a little full of dried bread dough and blue paint at times, like having to chauffeur and clean out those backpacks, I don't really mind or let them get in the way. They create an eclectic mixture that serves to enhance the precious moments shining through -- like a diamond in the rough (as in roughly underneath paint and dough). They are the makings of a life together. The routine that provides the memorable opportunities ... the after party I'm in no hurry to forget.


  1. Absolutely! Though I refuse to wear my ring while doing bread--too scarred by the bread dough in my mom's ring!

  2. The after party, I like that.....

  3. Russ, those with triplets are already on to the "hang over" portion of the after party.... just kidding. I'll bet you're after party is a rip roarin' good ole time!