Today’s print column.
So I’m sitting in my house (Monday), laptop on my knees, typing. A sick child is sprawled on the couch, watching the Smurfs, of all things. Ginger ale and crackers are nearby, so you can guess the type of affliction.
Just another unexpected joy of familyhood. And in our case, it just so happens that our family got its officially licensed start 13 years ago today.
Yes, Katherine and I were married on Sept. 11, 1999. Yes, it is a date even I can remember. And yes, our second anniversary was a very, very subdued affair. My then-pregnant wife and I, sitting on the couch, leisurely watching the world come apart.
This one, lucky 13, will likely also be subdued, but for far more mundane reasons. Katherine volunteered to help with Tess’ school field trip and Ella’s Brownie troop outing. Tess and I have puppy training class tonight.
Maybe we’ll wave, passionately, to each other at some point. Anniversary 13 is supposed to be lace or textiles. Hey, maybe I’ll do laundry, for once.
We might also squeeze in a minute or two to think back to that gloriously sunny September day near the end of the last millennium. There was a 50 percent chance of rain, but the skies were cloudless. Some religious sect at the time also predicted a 100 percent chance of the Rapture occurring that Saturday. Nobody disappeared from our ceremony.
We were married in the Church of the Land at Living History Farms. The minister showed up two minutes before a ceremony that lasted roughly 14. The shorter the ceremony, the longer the marriage, I say.
Our reception was in the Cub Club at what was then Sec Taylor Stadium in Des Moines, where the Triple-A Iowa Cubs play. I knew I had found my one and only true love when my beautiful bride consented to allowing the Iowa-Iowa State football game to be shown at our reception on a big-screen TV looming over the dance floor.
And when we had our first dance, I swear, I did not check the game even once. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and besides, it was still very early in the first quarter.
Iowa lost. It was the one time I didn’t care one bit.
In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have bought so much champagne that each guest had his or her own bottle. This led to some unintended consequences, interesting pairings, differences of opinion, etc. We found out that the motion-sensor alarms designed to keep over-served fellows from running the bases work perfectly.
I wouldn’t have changed a thing. And, despite all of my many obvious shortcomings, the whole thing has worked out very well. I feel the same way about Katherine today as I did that day. Rapturous, of course.