There are times in life when I stop and look around and think to myself, "How did I get here? Whose kids are these, and what happened to my girlish figure?" Then I remember that I've been there the whole time - moving, changing, growing, maturing (or somewhat maturing). I feel much the same on the inside. I still have a weird sense of humor. I am still painfully insecure. I still feel young on the inside - certainly not old enough to have been married eleven years and have a fourth grader.
Eleven years. That's a long time, especially when relating to marriage these days. I think back to eleven years ago - to 1999 - when we were preparing for something between all computers shutting down and the end of the world. We didn't know which extreme it would be at the time, but we named the phenomenon Y2K. Gas was pretty cheap. So was lettuce - I remember paying roughly 99 cents for a head of it back then. We rented a little apartment for about $450 a month. We had a lot of gatherings there, me and Scott. A lot of friends. A lot of beer drinking and late nights. And I'm sure if we could go back in time and press the pause button and question all those friends, "Do you think Tamara and Scott's marriage will last eleven years?" that some would say yes but some would say no.
I was a mess - an emotional wreck from the abrupt (but definitely fortunate) end of a very abusive relationship. The wounds were still fresh, and if anyone rubbed up against the thin scab that had formed over the wound, it would crack open and begin to bleed. Scott was hell on wheels - a little less hell on wheels (so I am told) than he had been in the past. Somehow, despite all the things we had working against us, we fell in love and decided to get married. I would love to hear some of the conversations that went on when word got out that I was getting married again.
We were two young fools, both divorced, walking right back into the fire again, knowing full well that we only had about 40% chance of our marriage making it. And we did it anyways. Now, here we are, eleven years and two kids later with a mortgage and life insurance. Seems crazy how much and how little things have changed. We've both grown up and matured beyond measure - maybe Scott more so than I (hate to point that out, Scooter). He's gone from this hell on wheels, hold nothing back, pit bull of an attitude to being a wonderful father who tries his hardest to instill values in children, a man who is softening his heart toward me and God by the minute, and the hardest working man I know. Me - I've dealt with some of my insecurities, learned to speak my mind a little more often, and I think I am a pretty good mom, too.
On the other hand, we still have the same friendship that we enjoyed so many years ago. I think back to when we dated and the comfort I felt with him - this feeling that I could tell him all the stories that other people may not want to hear, that we could sit and talk about whatever, that we could sing to the radio together. And all those things still hold true today. We may not always like each other, but we always love each other. And I know he's always got my back, and I've got his as well.
Eleven years. Just like that - it's flown by. I look forward to seeing what the next eleven have in store for us, for all the changes, and for all the things I know will stay the same.