I got married on April 1. No kidding. Maybe I am a fool or just a fool in love. Either way, I’ve learned a few things. Here they are:
- Easter and April Fool’s Day don’t collide very often, but they did this year. The last time was in 1956, and it won’t happen again until 2029.
- When he says he doesn’t care about your hair it might be true. I would have extra years back in my life if I had believed this. All that primping in the dating stage and early married life was wasted. Late last year I finally believed him when he said I was beautiful-several days post-dramatic haircut, with no product whatsoever. I questioned, “You really don’t notice hair; do you?” He said, “that’s what I’ve been telling you all these years.”
- The honeymoon stage lasts about four years. Sorry newlyweds, if you’re three years in you are still a newlywed, and it gets better after this. When you’re not as “new” to each other you’re about to grow immeasurably.
- Owning a dog is preschool for having kids. If you can keep a dog alive, healthy, and happy for two years, you might be ready for kids.
- The training stage means you are on call — always! No rest for the weary, you’re on hunger duty and potty duty any hour of the day or night, in sickness or in health.
- Kids are awesome. They are amazing! And, if you allow them they will teach you some of the best life lessons.
- Kids are terrorists. They take no prisoners. They negotiate like terrorists. They will bring you to your knees and when you are all bloodied they’ll beat you down some more.
- Never go to bed angry is a lie. At some point, you will probably go to bed angry. Be on guard and be sure to repair the relationship and nurture it back to health.
- Keeping up with the Joneses will put you in the poorhouse. We tried it and it didn’t work out very well. Here’s our story:
10. Pets keep the family healthier if you don’t have allergies. They release feel-good hormones, keep you healthier, and reduce stress. I need my dog and so do the rest of us.
11. Health matters. Financial health matters. Live beneath your means every day. Be weird! And, enjoy freedom as a result.
12. Physical health matters. Stay active!
13. Take a break. When you’re at your wit’s end you probably need a break. Take it.
14. Food is the best first medicine. Kids with food triggers have taken us through family counseling and been cured with food choices. Grandparents suck at this! And, it’s a lifelong commitment.
15. Love your spouse. You still have to live with your spouse when the kids are gone. Don’t let kids rule your life.
16. Love the kids while they are young. They grow up fast. They will leave. Make sure they will want you to come visit.
17. Life, goals, and circumstances change. If you’re flexible the reality of these things won’t hurt so much.
18. Be weird! It’s the glue that bonds us together.