Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Baby...

Brett and I got married twelve years ago today, in the chapel on the University of Virginia campus. Since our ceremony took place at 8 in the evening, we opted to do pictures beforehand, and took most of them in front of the UVa Rotunda.

Today, to honor 12 years together, we took the kids on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Charlottesville to show them where mom and dad got married. While the kids enjoyed the trip, it was of course less meaningful for them than it was for me.

Going back to UVa feels so poignant. It's where I met my husband. It's where we dated and hung out for 2 years. It's where I went through some of the worst self-doubt and anxiety in my life. It's where I had some of the best times of my life.

Seeing all the college students around brought back pangs for those times; wishing, even if briefly, to be back in those days of reading in the library and hanging out with friends and books at the local coffee shops. In some ways I was so much freer then, in spite of the academic stress. I just didn't know it.

Am I O.K. with my decision not to finish my PhD? Yes, I am. I truly believe I'm happier now than I would have been trying to finish something that I wasn't totally invested in anymore. I'm happy I chose my relationship with Brett and chose starting a family over academe.

But today, just for a little while, I wished I were back there. At the same time, I appreciated the wonder of being there today with my children. Our children. People who didn't exist 12 years ago today.

When I wonder what my life's work is, I guess that's the biggest part of it - my kids. Sure, I find parenting tough. I often think I don't handle it nearly as well as many other parents do, often think I could and should be such a better mom. But I love my kids. It was a joy to be able to show them where I met and fell in love with their daddy. Even if they didn't really give a fig, and just wanted to run around in the Rotunda. And that was O.K. with me.


  1. Awe...this brought tears to my eyes...what a wonderful day...and Anne, you have an amazing life's work in those children! They are beautiful and I can't wait to see who they are as adults! :-) -Jeanine

  2. They will care one day! Just keep showing them. I remember my dad pointing out where he was when he decided to ask my mom to marry him. It was on the steps near the engineering buildings. It means so much to me to have that visual! One day, it will mean something to them too!
    Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!