Last January, nine months before our wedding day, we celebrated January 11th for the last time. We decided to make our fifth and final celebration the best, splurging for dinner at a local French restaurant and dressing to the nines despite the windy January night. It was a beautiful evening, a celebration of the past, and a celebration of the very near future.
I didn’t want it to end. A day which had become so special was about to be forgotten, obscured by a larger, more magnificent event. Luke disagreed. “We’ll still celebrate January 11th,” he promised, “there’s no rule that says we can’t”. Except no married couple celebrates the day they started dating, I thought, eventually we’ll forget when it even was.
“We’ll probably celebrate it next year, but never after that,” I bemused to my mother several days later. “You and Dad just celebrate your anniversary, right?” A little smile grew across her face. “I think the eleventh will always be a special day for you.”
My mother recounted a story from before my parents were married. She attended the wedding of a good friend, and the pastor shared an interesting piece of advice. Celebrate your marriage every month, on the day of the month you were married. Take the time each month to celebrate your marriage, not just once a year.
Last month celebrated July 11th, nine months from our wedding day. With busy schedules, we love having a time set aside for us. Each “11th” is marked on the calendar with a little heart. Sometimes the celebration gets moved to another night because of work and school schedules, or other events, but we were surprised how often we were willing to move other events to make time for these monthly celebrations. We both go out of the way to make the day special, by sending each other sweet texts throughout the day, or setting the table with china or dressing up for grilled cheese and a movie in our apartment. We keep the celebrations fairly low key, which gives us the opportunity to go big on special days, like January 11th and October 11th.
My mom was right (as usual), the eleventh is a special day for us. It’s a time to slow down and celebrate the small things, and the set date allows us to plan ahead, both to avoid conflicts and to plan special surprises for each other. Nine months into our marriage, we know we have many, many more elevenths to come. And we can’t wait to celebrate each and every one of them.