The day before my family came for Thanksgiving dinner, my husband and I toasted to the carpet. It was still damp from the cleaning hours before, but it looked pristine.
Tonight, we’ll kick off the holiday season, then celebrate a nice family dinner by cuddling on the couch in front of a sappy romantic movie on the holiday channel. And we’ve even been known to high-five the discovery of whole wheat couscous.
In ways both little and big, stupid and endearing, we celebrate just about everything.
After 13 years of marriage, it isn’t all smooth sailing around here. We bicker over parenting differences. I’m constantly annoyed when he comes home from the grocery store with produce, bruised and rotten on one side. He doesn’t like when I interrupt or wander down the hall in mid-sentence. We have real-world challenges and some very loud discussions.
But we give extra attention to the good things in life too. We celebrate the little successes and that helps keep us connected.
Silly Celebrations Keep Connection Strong
And that connection is the thing that keeps you coming back when the last thing you want to do is be together. When the crap comes down, and it does, we also have all these little warm and silly moments of celebration to fall back on. Little bits of fun and closeness that remind me (among other things) why I fell in love with him. Why I truly want to be here.
It’s easy to remember to celebrate the big days with Christmas parties and Valentine’s Day dinners. And we do recognize those moments in small, sincere, inexpensive ways — a special card, a date night, or simple gift. (My favorite, before we were married, was a wrench to fix my garbage disposal — actually very romantic considering what we’d been talking about).
But it’s the little moments I come back to in the corners of my memory. It’s the love note he gave me, now tucked away in my drawer, to celebrate the publication of my first book. The time he picked up those Greek olives I love and he hates, to celebrate a Tuesday. It’s the happy hour Fridays we have while standing around the kitchen to commemorate a week well-done. The times we’ve celebrated the beginning of college football season by singing the fight song and hanging our fave team’s flag out front.
This isn’t about big-money, fancy gifts. It’s about coming together, to notice one another and the good stuff we share. Just taking a beat really, to recognize that this life is big and bold and so worth celebrating.
This Friday at 4:15 he’ll throw open the front door and shout “It’s the WEEKEND!” like he does every Friday when he gets home from work. He’ll be excited, as though we aren’t middle-aged parents who go to bed by 9 p.m. on Friday nights.
We’ll toast to Friday and our week, acting like there is something to celebrate. Because, if you go looking hard enough, there always is.