Time for a time-out from your regularly scheduled apartment obsessed posts to celebrate a pretty significant milestone...my parents have officially been married for 30 years today!
Drink it in, folks. Have you ever seen a better-looking couple?...me neither.
I count myself and my siblings extremely fortunate to have grown up with these two as an example of love, partnership, and marriage. From an early age, I think I knew my parents were "different" in that they were not only married, but they were genuinely friends. To this day, they enjoy sharing their time with each other and with their children and families. For me, "family dinner" as a child wasn't something that had to be scheduled...it was a given. My parents always attended my soccer games (even if only to watch me pick dandelions in the goal) and my one ill-fated dance recital (even if only to watch me pick my nose onstage. I was four.). They even sat through speech and debate tournaments...together...because in my family, family was and still is what we are all about.
We took family ski trips and beach vacations, enduring (and enjoying) hours in the car to get to Colorado or nursing sunburns and hangovers on the beaches of Mexico. We see plays and concerts together...table 120 at the Chanhassen should be reserved permanently for our clan. Ten summers of our childhoods were spent at "the lake," hanging out and passing entire weekends in a cabin with, god forbid, no internet to divert us...just the five of us, playing dice, watching movies, being our weird quintet. It was idyllic.
In some ways, my parents couldn't be more different. I loved to joke that my dad fell off the potato truck, and my mom fell off the golf cart. My dad grew up on lakes, my mom in a pool. My dad attended a small, Catholic university, my mom pledged a sorority at Arizona State. My dad is a logical, analytical by-the-numbers guy, and though she'll deny it, my mom is a creative, outside-the-box visionary.
What brings them together, in so many ways, is how intensely giving they are of themselves, their time and their energy. Our childhood birthday parties, prom after-parties, and graduation festivities were always a joint labor of love that never resulted in anything less than spectacular. They've hosted holidays for 30+ people for as long as I can remember. Our home has always had an open-door policy for all their kids' friends. Heck, my dad likes to buy my friends rounds of drinks at Notre Dame games. Their insane generosity ties them together and has, in turn, made them the best possible example to me, my sister Em and my brother Jonathan.
They share senses of humor that, 30 years later, can only be said to have fused together. Their sarcasm, dry wit, and delight in the dumbest of jokes is almost always in tandem. What family member can't attest to the Thanksgiving whoopee cushion, or the infamous sneeze apron? They laugh at each other, yes, but they also laugh with each other...at the rest of the world.
Above all, my parents are a team. They have been, like any team, occasionally out-of-step with life. Some passes are incomplete, some baskets don't get made. Like a standout team, though, they have weathered the setbacks and built something untouchable through the years...a winning record that can't be denied. Despite the setbacks of the financial crisis, they united to ensure that all three of us kids were put through college, debt-free. They have supported and comforted each other through the deaths of three of my grandparents, and are the bright spot in my grandma Lo's life these days.
Most significantly, they will drop absolutely everything for one of their kids. When I needed to move, and move fast, this April, they had me out of my apartment and safely ensconced in my childhood bedroom in under 2 hours. Even just last night, when I blew a tire on the sketchiest side road known to Christendom, they waited with me for hours to get my car fixed and, somehow, kept me cheerful through the whole ordeal. In the last 30 years, they have built themselves into a team that everyone wants to be on and nobody can help but root for...because first and foremost, they root for each other.
Here's to the last 30, Mom and Dad. Thank you for a childhood for the storybooks, for unshakable faith in a love that transcends them, and for excitement to see what the next 30 will hold for our own little family fairy tale.