June 2008 was a whirlwind. At 35, I was ready to take the plunge. Marriage. 2 years earlier, I had been wandering around China with my buddy and his wife. We wondered into a wonderful little hostel in the middle of Beijing and my life changed forever on one magical night spent with a girl from Germany, walking though a beautiful park. We dreamed of the world that night and it changed our paths forever.
Love isn’t as easy, but it is rewarding! We had to fight hard to be together. After we married, we went on a quick honeymoon to Turkey and in mid-July I boarded the plane back to America to wait for my wifes papers to clear to allow her to come back into the country. It was nearly a year of waiting. Two years after that, our first son was born. 3 years after that, our second son was born. We bought a house around the same time. With the great milestones of life come great complications. Children. Raising children is no easy feat and until you are blessed with such a huge responsibility, you really don’t have any idea of what is required to be a parent.
Before children, our lives weren’t free of complications but we could drop anything and go anywhere as we pleased… although we usually didn’t because we were building our lives together.
When times are tough, I always go back to those first years of our time together, we worked hard to be together. Not many people spent the first year of their married lives together waiting for a slip of paper from the state department. Traveling across oceans to be with each other, constant Skype calling to keep the line of communication together. We made it work until the moment came and we could start our lives together.
But look, I know our lives are privledge, charmed, lucky… not many people get the opportunity to travel the world and meet someone from another country and make that work.
And let me tell you about my wife, the wifey, the Lili. Never have I met a sweeter and more caring person. She is also mind bogglingly creative… She made the kids the most awesome outfits and works hard everyday to shape such a pleasant experience for our children. The transition to motherhood was so natural for her, where others seem to really struggle with it. Some people treat children like baggage, an inconvenient nessitiy in their travels through life, but not my wife.
Parenthood has changed us, grounded us, but the experience leaves us more full and there is no one that I could imagine this with in the world at this point.
So the first 10 years have been so full of growth and roots— I really look forward to the next 10 years. By then, Elliott will be 16, Liam 13…. and we will be… old.