One year ago on the Monday just past, I stood on the back step of my old home in Enmore, Sydney, in front of a freshly-painted blue door and before a vegetable-garden full of my nearest and dearest, and became a Mrs.
I have often pondered what that means, other than making me think Mr B's mother is in the room whenever someone says "Mrs Bulger." What is it supposed to mean? Why did I need it? Did I need it? Ok, why did I want it?
Mr B and I were in love and fully committed to one another long before we decided to turn our relationship into a marriage. We lived together, we owned houses together (read: we bent our backs under mortgages together). I left New York to be with him. I had been deliberately brought into the lives of Mr B's children, and he jokingly told them to call me "Mama-Na" (still does). I believed then and still believe now that no ceremony, no piece of paper, could have made me love this family more or commit to it more fully than I already did. I was utterly entwined with them already.
And yet I did want this marriage, and I love having it. I guess I wanted to articulate promises I'd already made in private, in front of my beloved friends and family. I happily took on a new name, although that had less to do with romantic notions or patriarchy (Mr B couldn't have cared less) and more to do with practicality, including thwarting an identity thief (yes! but that's a story for another blog post, another time).
This has been a massive year for us, emotionally, professionally, financially and even geographically. I think both of us are still reeling from it and, despite the pending arrival of Baby B, it almost feels like the next year will be a holiday by comparison. Under all that stress and strain, we had our fair share of disagreements (oh, what a polite word that one is). More honestly, we both exhibited our fair share of childish tantrums. And yet it has been such a happy time. I feel like we have grown to know each other better, understand each other better, and become more patient and loving with one another this year. We are better at overlooking one another's faults and each of us is better at building the other one up. I am more in love with Mr B now than I ever was.
Why is that? It can't just be that piece of paper.
Whatever the reason, I am sure our love will continue to grow in the years to come. Certainly, we will put in the effort. But if it was to freeze at today's levels, I still think I would be a damn lucky lady. Happy anniversary, my darling Mr B.