Six years ago Twiggy and I got married. It was an amazing day. In the morning, the sun pushed its way through storm clouds, anxiety mingled with excitement. The little knot of nerves in my tummy begun to unravel and a smile sat firmly on my face, safe in the knowledge I was to marry my best friend. I was floating in a bubble, voices were muffled and all I could think of was him and what we were about to do. It was a feeling I’ll never forget. I truly was walking on air.
We got married in a heritage-listed olive grove. It was dry and dusty. We stood among the gnarly, knotted tree trunks with our friends and family and declared our love for each other. We made a commitment to help each other become better people and never be afraid of the unknown. At the exact moment we kissed, at the end of the ceremony, I felt my feet finally touch the ground. I felt his fingers entwined around mine. I felt grounded, solid.
We had our wedding reception in the oldest purpose-built theatre on Australia’s mainland. You could see dust dancing in the light, filtering in through the cracks in the roof and its walls were crumbling. White flowing curtains hung from the rafters and sparkly, circular lights hung from the ceiling. Every part of the wedding Brett and I had planned. Each table was individually decorated; tiny Campari bottles as vases, tealights, lavender from my Mum’s garden. Brett and his “bridesmaid” were prepping food on the morning of the wedding and fresh flowers were purchased from the market. Ribbons were tied around each bouquet, over the sink in my hotel room. It was a communal wedding and we couldn’t have done it without the help of a group of amazing people in our life. We choreographed our wedding dance to Barry White’s Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe, complete with the “reel the fish in” move and the “hold hands and spin around in circles” move. We even included the “robot”. We beamed at each other, whenever laughter rang out from our guests. There were candles and lillies, cup cakes and an emergency supply of cask wine (which did get drunk). There was karaoke to Guns N’ Roses, joints smoked in the courtyard near the toilets, drunken pashing. We were young and had no children. We didn’t get back to our hotel until 5am in the morning, drunk on joy and bourbon.
A couple of months later, we jetted off to Italy, Canada and New York for our honeymoon. We stuffed our faces full of ribs and Tim Hortons’ donuts in Calgary, dined on fresh pasta in rustic restaurants overlooking the Ligurian coast and gorged on bagels “with a smear”, while walking the streets of Soho. We sourced bootleg wine off a gnarly old woman with purple-stained hands in Corniglia and we marvelled at the majesty of the Brooklyn Bridge – the lights of New York twinkling in the water. We traveled together for the first time as husband and wife, we giggled and held hands as we took on the world. People say marriage is a piece of paper, but it’s more than that – it’s a different sort of knowing, a knowing you are on a journey together. I believe everyone has the right to feel such rock-solid togetherness.
This past weekend was our wedding anniversary. We got up late, had a leisurely breakfast together. We reminisced. We laughed. We strolled hand-in-hand along the city streets and dined at a fancy pants restaurant. We drank fine wine, ate piles of chocolate-dipped strawberries. We went to a bar and danced. We “retired” to our five star, hotel room. It was decadent and amazing.
The only problem was it did not happen.
Instead, we were woken at 6am by Baby 3 who was teething and cranky. She’s hardly cried in seven months, so you can imagine our joy when her crying showed no sign of letting up. Miss 4 and the 2yo Who Never Sleeps were quick to jump out of their beds, for fear of missing out on anything. We grabbed a quick kiss in the kitchen, over the din of three screaming children, and wished each other a Happy Wedding Anniversary. We sat haggered, and old looking, on the couch sculling numerous cups of coffee and, in between nappy changes and food requests, shovelled in our “special breakfast” of bacon and eggs. The children had decided it was their day to be crazy, nut jobs. There was shouting, pulling of hair, throwing of doll’s house furniture. It truly was a delightful start to the day. And then, as the day’s shenanigans started to peak, my husband got all dressed-up and took off to photograph someone else’s wedding. I was left with the three children. We didn’t get out of our pjs. It was a super long day. Once they were asleep, I sat and watched tv, alone.
It was close to 9pm when my husband walked in the door. He was carrying takeaway Indian food from one of our favourite restaurants and a bottle of Moet. We inhaled the champagne and sat outside, shared a cigar and talked about how much our lives have changed. How, in six years, we’d made and were raising three beautiful children. We’d purchased and renovated our first home. We’d started, relaunched and built a successful business. And then, when it came time to “go to bed” Twiggy ran so fast to our bedroom he could’ve won an Olympic gold medal. Imagine his reaction when Miss 4 came trotting into our room, me following behind her with a bad case of the giggles. The look on his deflated face still makes me laugh. It was not the perfect end to the evening, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Six years, three children and still madly in love.