I hear the tap on the door. “Hey there, you ready?”
“Just a second,” I mumble, under a mass of blue and white floral. “I’m trapped in my dress.”
He smiles as he walks in the bathroom, two glasses and a bottle of sparkling wine in hand. “We need to make a toast. To us.”
Yes, to us, in a bathroom with towels tossed on the floor and clean clothes draped on the side of the tub waiting for a turquoise hanger to adopt them and me waging war with my sundress as I get ready for an evening out. We each have our own, you know. Bathrooms, that is. I have mine and he has his, thanks to a builder who believed everyone should be entitled to their own personal space. I’ll be honest – his bathroom is always cleaner than mine. But right now, toasting to 20 years of marriage in the midst of makeup and hair brushes and some strange miracle-working face mask in a jar seems perfect. Though our actual anniversary is September 13th, we’ve learned not to be caught up in the fervor of one specific day because we’ve got 365 to use – and we intend to use them well. There’s a beach and some sunshine awaiting our family in a few months, and a special getaway planned for just the two of us too.
He calls this anniversary “double-double digits,” and I like that. Twenty may not be a prestigious number for most folks – it certainly doesn’t have the clout of 25 or 50 – but we are overwhelmed by its presence. You see, there was no slow and leisurely entrance to this thing called marriage for us. We exchanged rings and class schedules, we became a forever family, and we walked through graduations and nests being emptied while friends were still packing lunch boxes and removing training wheels from candy apple red bikes. Now, as we look at our son and his bride and the two amazing kids we get to spoil, we can’t help but see 20 as a gift.
And if I was to give a gift to my beloved on our 20th, tradition tells me it would be porcelain. The finest china made from clay and stone would be fitting for such a celebration. We would feast and raise a glass to the journey. Now, if I was more contemporary, the gift would be platinum. Perhaps it would make for a most exquisite ring or bracelet.
Porcelain and platinum. Both are beautiful and malleable. Both bend and flex and find their shape. Both become purposeful when they go through fire. Both are strong and enduring. Porcelain is highly prized by treasure-seekers. Platinum is a powerful catalyst. Yes, this is 20. There is bending and there is fire. And what is left is worthy of crowns and kingdoms. I think God smiles at the thought of it all.
And so, I raise a glass and make a toast. Here’s to 20 years of messy bathrooms and the “nudge, nudge, push, KICK” when being too tired or too full makes someone snore a little too loudly. Here’s to hard moments and good seasons. Here’s to life. Here’s to love. Here’s to us.