An Ode to My Wife on Our Anniversary


Oh Nat, where have the years gone?

From skinny teens in baggy jeans,

Hanging round with mates in white Kappa trackies,

To waking blurry eyed

To responsible jobs, paper bills and cries of ‘Dad I need a wee!’

 

The biggest decision used to be

Sam’s Chippy menu with the quid we’d pocketed from home,

Or the Youthy disco and what to wear.

Now we decide the fate of frozen embryos

And plan the futures of our embryos that grew, starting talking,

got big.

 

Who’d have thought that babysitting

at your sister’s house in 1996

would have had these repercussions.

Not that I cared as you made a beeline.

Pounced on me.

 

Only weeks earlier you’d attacked my

Cocky teenage face with a flying, molten-lava pizza.

My crime?

Arrogantly, suggesting you fancied me, of course.

I told you then I’m always right.

 

I remember the first time I met your parents.

Aged 16, carrying you home aloft my shoulder,

Knight-like,

After you’d spewed your shit-mix,

Ruining the disco floor.

Surprisingly, I survived the encounter.

Unlike my Trip To Eclipse jeans

and lovely lace top number.

Confined to the bin marked

‘casualties of a drunken teenage escapade’.

Probably for the best, hey.

 

Uni was a tale of phone bill scandals,

five-hour National Express journeys

and duvet weekends.

Constant parental reminders of safe sex

Rang in our ears.

Reverberated at every turn.

Every embrace.

 

If only we could have foreseen the years of daily injections,

Dark hospital ejaculation rooms,

Gynaecological stirrups.

and polystyrene Petri dishes.

 

After uni we loved to travel.

Lazy Balinese days,

Losing ourselves along the canals of Venice,

and drunken Hong Kong nights

accompanied by an obligatory dried fish on a stick.

THAT Bangkok cabaret show in THAT gay bar.

We’ve never looked at a trumpet in the same way since.

Oh, how we laughed.

 

Then shit got real.  We grew up.

Well, in some ways.

We planned our fairy-tale wedding

Amidst the heartbreak of ectopic pregnancies

And failed IVF.

Few knew of our battle within.

It was us against the world.

 

Festival favourites from days gone by

And live graffiti boards coloured our big day.

A room packed with love,

And enough alcohol to sink a small nation.

Languidly comatose in the hotel suite Jacuzzi

Probably wasn’t what we’d planned for our first night

As husband and wife.

But oh, what a day!

 

And then our Little Miracle was born.

A hyperactive Flubber of a child

with a real competitive streak.

Every story begins with ‘the other day…’

But we could listen to his other days forever.

 

A beautiful bundle of mischief arrived soon after.

A short-tempered,

crazy-haired adrenaline junkie

With a heart as big as her smile.

An amazingly perfect paradox, she is.

Oh, how we love them.

 

Others talk of ‘not having a care in the world’,

We’ve been there, done that.

I even bought the copy t-shirt that time I drunkenly wrestled

Stray dogs on that Turkish beach,

ruining my clothes in the process.

But here’s the thing:

A life without cares is a life not being lived.

My advice?

Grow up, get married, have kids.

There’s nothing better.

 

 

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