We pulled up to Canalside just 15 minutes before a 90 minute Buffalo Historic Boat Tour was beginning. How perfect was this? We had perfect timing and I looked at my family so excited to go on this tour. They all rolled their eyes at the same time. Ella says, “I really want to go kayaking.” We had gone to Canalside without her when she was in camp, and this was something we were “making up to her.” Since this was really about Ella, I dragged myself to the kayaks. The thought of a relaxing boat ride with a nice drink was much more my speed but I would humor my family and go kayaking with them.
The lady tells us they don’t have a kayak we can all fit in, so we have to do two and two, in two different kayaks. Max is home laying in bed exhausted from soccer. We are with our girls Ella and Lillie. Neither one of our girls wants to go with me in a kayak. I don’t blame them at all. They want to go with calm easy-going daddy who knows how to kayak. I actually wanted to go with him too. He can’t go with all three of his women, so I tell Lillie to go with him. I didn’t want to deal with her whining the whole time and figured if she didn’t like it that Seth would calm her down.
I looked at my husband with his long flowing curls and cool sunglasses on and I thought about how awesome that I think he is. I think that’s one of the secrets. I think that Seth and I really like each other. Yes, we are in love, but we also think each other is wonderful and are each others biggest fans. You want to like who your partner is. As my girls fought over who was going to get to go with Seth kayaking, I understood how much they loved their daddy, and his capability and ability to keep them safe and have a good time with him. He’s more of the party bus. He is more fun. I would find him playing tea party with them as I was doing the dishes. I tend to do a lot of tasks and he tends to play more. I could definitely play more!
We are about to celebrate 16 years being married on Friday September 3, 2021. My wedding day was one of the best days of my life. I felt so lucky to get to marry Seth. I pinch myself regularly and am thankful for him every day. I don’t take him for granted and I know how blessed I am. I try to remember to tell him this regularly because they all need to hear it. Seth is very auditory focused, so I know he needs to hear it.
We were in the kitchen, and I told Seth how much I appreciated him helping me with whatever we were doing at the time. “You finally said something nice to me today,” Seth says to me. My heart sunk and I really took in what he just said. I think he was feeling too criticized that day and I was going to nip that in the bud. I know that he wants to feel appreciated. I know that’s one of the keys to marriage. If our partners feel criticized, then they don’t feel good about the marriage. I know how easy it is to criticize each other and fall into that trap. If we point out what they do right and we appreciate them, we get more of that and we will both feel happier. It’s a win-win. It’s easy to fall into the criticism trap so we need to catch ourselves and think about what we say before we say it. Is what I am about to say going to make my husband feel good or bad?
So many friends have been posting about taking their kids to college. I have major empathy pains for them. It has certainly made it easier to send Max to high school. I can’t believe the kid that started kindergarten yesterday is about to start high school. The good news is that he wasn’t starting college yet and high school wasn’t seeming so scary.
As we talked about college, I told Seth that my radius requirement was that our kids had to go somewhere that I could easily drive to. He looked at me like I had ten heads and said the kids may not agree to those terms. I told him that I wasn’t cut out for this stuff, and he told me that was reason 899,999 for why I married him. Seth was built for these things. He was built to raise capable kids who fly away. I was built to kiss their booboos and hold them close to me. We couldn’t be more different.
Seth can be too short. I tend to elaborate too much.
Seth can be introverted. I am very extroverted (I’ve gotten more introverted over the years).
Seth wanted two kids. I wanted a lot of kids!
Seth has a head for business. I have a head for Social Work.
Seth can be very black and white. I tend to see the gray areas to things.
Seth wants his kids to be independent and grow up. I want them to be my babies forever.
Seth loves to talk about their classes and assignments. I want to hear about their relationships with people.
Seth doesn’t want any junk food in the house. We will leave that there.
Seth does little bits of things to gradually get things done. I tend to binge and get a TON done and wear myself out.
Seth doesn’t mind the winter at all. I complain the whole winter and countdown to summer.
Seth is very smart and funny. I would describe myself as a lot of things, but not funny.
Seth is very practical and logical and thinks things through. I am very emotional and feel things strongly.
I could go on and on. We are very different people who completely compliment each other. When I was interviewing Brandon Miller, he was describing the four different parenting styles. The optimal parenting type is an authoritative parent. I was joking with Seth that the two of us together are the absolute perfect parent. I am all about warmth and love, and he gives our kids a lot of love don’t get me wrong, but he is all about rules and expectations. You do what you are told according to Seth. I can be too permissive, and he can be too authoritarian. Together we compliment each other and make the perfect parent. The perfect team.
Remember the things that attracted you to each other. I love that he is the Yang to my Yin. I love that he is the black to my white. I love that he is the moon to my sun. I appreciate our differences and I appreciate Seth for who he is.
Seth, I love you more than the day we got married. I will work every day on being a better wife for you. I am thankful every day that I get to be married to you and I will show and tell you that every day.
As we walk into another year together, here is what I wish for us:
- Patience with each other.
- Understanding and appreciating of our differences.
- Desire to do better every day.
- To learn from our mistakes.
- To spend quality alone time together.
- To find new adventures together.
- To continue to enjoy our children together. Both the human and fur ones.
- To be thankful for each other every day and know how blessed we are.
- To take on challenges together.
- To be quick to forgive each other.
- To have kind and calm communication.
- To celebrate successes together.
- To plan a Bat Mitzvah together!
- To both learn and grow more every day.
- To support each other.
- To make marital goals every year.
I stand by the fact that who you marry is one of the biggest decisions that you can ever make. When we got married, I told Seth that I wanted him to be happy with his choice of who he married at his 50th wedding anniversary. I am working hard on that goal. You see, as much as we like to think that marriage lasts forever, I see marriages crumble around me. It reminds me that marriage is a gift. It is a gift that we want to keep. Let’s not take our spouses for granted. Let’s make them feel ten feet tall and know how much they are loved and appreciated.
Cheers to forever.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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