Every year, I go see the fireworks with Marc at the old courthouse. We've been going since Jess was about two, so I went when I was nine months pregnant with Sam, and when Julianna was just a tiny little love bug, asleep in her pram. This year, I think it was my all time favorite. We just had my three (Lilli was home sick and Sarah had come for dinner, but bailed before the fireworks actually started), and Marc's parents had come along for the first time. I wore Miss Julianna in the carrier, and Sam brought his friend Sasha from down the street. We had snacks and water, and the very best part was that it started pouring right as the fireworks started. It rained for a few minutes, and then cleared away, and everyone was drenched and cheerful in the way that you are when something unexpected happens. But it was lovely, the kids were all happy and thrilled, I was able to really just sort of relax, Sam was playing with Sasha, Jessie was munching on cheese puffs and sharing them with a very happy baby (although she was distinctly ill amused with the rain). It was one of those moments when I looked at Marc and was exceedingly happy to be doing this with him.
And by "this," I mean so much more than just watching fireworks in the rain. I've been pondering what goes into making a happy marriage. I think sometimes what keeps Marc and I together and happy is a combination of really high expectations and absolute commitment. I think Marc would accept less, in terms of marriage satisfaction - he's in it forever regardless. Whereas I really, really won't accept less, I have a different perspective on marriage. I've never seen a successful marriage, not really. My grandparents (and my grandmother passed away when I was still a child). My parents split up when I was six, all of my aunts have divorced. Even the people I knew who were married didn't seem all that happy about it - and even today, so many of the marriages that I see are not anything I'd want to be a part of. Getting married, for me, was something I could get myself to do only by telling myself that if it didn't work, I could always get a divorce. For Marc, it was absolute, he WAS NOT getting a divorce, ever. The combination of those two, my need for it to be a marriage unlike everyone else's - my marriage was going to strong, or it wasn't going to be, and Marc's absolute and utter commitment - he's not considering anything else, is what makes us work.
Marc and I - somehow, against all odds (because, really, you would never have put us together on paper - he was a very newly divorced Jewish guy with two kids from Worcester, I was a single very non Jewish girl with virtually no long term relationship experience who thought of Worcester as SO FAR away from everything), have built this really, really incredible relationship. He's my best friend, my partner, my... everything. And I know that he feels the same way. We're in this together, in a way that I never imagined I could be, in a way that I didn't know existed really. I still don't exactly understand how I got this lucky, but thank God every day for it.