lifetime achievement award

Three of the biggest annual milestones in my life are rather unfairly squashed together. It’s a trifecta of increasingly lukewarm celebration that used to leave me feeling a little gypped.

My birthday was last week. My anniversary was yesterday and Mother’s Day is Sunday. Frankly, by the time we get to Mother’s Day, there’s Molly-/Mommy-saturation in my house: the party hats and balloons are limp, the gifts grow increasingly lackluster to non-existent.  Even the cards start to blur together…“Happy Birthersary to the Best Mom in the World!”

It’s nobody’s fault this happens every year — just a matter of poor timing by our younger selves.  How were we to know 15 years ago when we set our wedding date for one week after my birthday that it would also be so close to Mother’s Day? Who the heck cared in those days before children? Who the heck knew what we were really in for?

And that’s the other thing. Children. They kinda’ get in the way of a real anniversary celebration. Duh.

Because of their sports schedules (okay, we brought it on ourselves to a degree) I spent last night, a milestone anniversary, not staring deeply into my still-sexy husband’s big, brown, green-flecked peepers over a candle-lit dinner. Nope. I spent it freezing my tuckus off in a camping chair on the edge of a softball field full of 10- and 11-year-old girls for almost three hours as, layer by layer, the almost-freezing rain pierced down to the bone.  My husband sat on the edge of a field, too, only he was 30-miles away watching 13-year-olds play soccer. 

But despite what on the surface seems extremely unromantic and downright miserable, we wished each other happy anniversary by cell with lightness, a kind of joy mixed with a pinch of wry humor.  There were winks in our voices.

We’ve earned that feeling . We deserve it. It’s a freakin’ badge of honor.

I’m not patting myself on the back, but fifteen years is a hell of a long time for a marriage. It’s about a third of my life, and sometimes the days felt like eons, the years like dog years. Those fifteen encompassed the hardest years in any marriage, what I think I’ll call the “Blur”here for lack of a better term:  in-laws; compromise; BABY, You get the baby! NO! YOU get the baby!; Sex?! Funny. Now hand me a damn diaper; I kind of hate you; compromise; mortgage; ANOTHER BABY +TODDLER; I kind of hate you again; No, maybe I kind of hate myself; TODDLER+ PRE-SCHOOLERS; I hate my job; You don’t bring me flowers anymore — is it because I’m fat?; What do you do all day while I’m at work?!; compromise; How do we spend all that money!; PRE-ADOLESCENTS; Sex?! Funny. They’ll hear us!, etc

What’s the statistic…? Half to a quarter of all marriages, depending on the age of the bride (the older the safer, btw), fail in the first ten years?  Can you blame them really?

We’ve made it through most of that deep muck. It’s been a marathon that, looking back, seems like an instant.  We’ve had our moments, don’t get me wrong, especially when we almost lost our footing at the clichéd seven-year mark. But we made it in a way that has left us more secure and tighter-knit than those two young, naïve kids who got married 15 years ago.

I know there will be further trials. Further tribulations. Perhaps worse than any we’ve experienced thus far.  I know this. But I also know that we’ll probably make it through them, and someday we may even laugh about them wryly.

All this to say that I now love the build-up, roar and fizzle-to-a-whimper of my celebration-trifecta .  Truly.  It’s like an annual Lifetime Achievement Award:

“Congratulations, Molly Schulz Kelash! You’ve made it through another relatively successful year of being a Wife and a Mother…and, by the way, Happy Birthday! Lookin’ good!”

It took me almost a decade to recognize it as an award. And, even if it’s just a made up award for a jumbled mess of celebrations, it’s a good mess and a true honor to receive it every year.  It’s all the Mother’s Birthersary present I need.

That and a brief cell phone conversation with my husband.

p.s.  Lest you feel sorry for poor ole deprived  me, hubby and I are heading for a weekend at a resort on Lake Superior  to mark our anniversary and to get enough staring into each others’ eyes to last us a year. Plus, I’ll be taking beautiful photos while I’m there with the Canon Rebel I got for my birthday…and a lens I got for Mother’s Day. Does that negate everything I said up there? I don’t think so, but let me know if you do!


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mix Creative
    May 07, 2010 @ 22:04:10

    Congratulations on your multi-chievements and having someone to share them with! Your post put words to my thoughts as my husband and I rapidly reach our own 15th wedding anniversary. I feel like we should be screaming from the rooftops “We did it!” while I’m sure we’re lucky if we even receive a card that day. Nevertheless, love is having someone you can text from the cold seat of a marathon softball (or soccer) game and say, “Wish U were here”.

    Loved the post…thanks.


    • mollykelash
      May 08, 2010 @ 21:06:08

      Thanks a million, Katrina — coming from an established blogger such as yourself (just checked it out) I am very flattered! Not sure where this blog is taking me, but at this point, it’s an enjoyable outlet.


  2. Rebecca
    May 08, 2010 @ 13:07:21

    Totally agree with you Molly, and you put it in words with perfection. I’m so proud of you for putting it “out there” on the worldwide web! Also proud of your husband, for letting you! Mine would kill me. Very private guy. 🙂


  3. Rebecca
    May 08, 2010 @ 13:07:58

    Happy birthday by the way!


  4. Mary Bock
    May 08, 2010 @ 18:55:53

    Molly, Wishing you a very happy belated birthday, happy anniversary and Mother’s Day. And, yes, the Canon Rebel, DOES negate all the “negatives.” I’m enjoying your blog and look forward to your continuing entries. Mary


  5. Mary B.
    May 08, 2010 @ 23:49:07

    on the mark, as always! Miss you and your wit!!!!


  6. Tim C. Martin
    May 09, 2010 @ 03:45:30

    You got the body AND the lens? What the Hell are you complaining about? 😎

    Good read…thanks!



  7. Laura Bashem Torpy
    May 09, 2010 @ 14:12:00

    Wonderful. You are sucha great writer…I guess you better be since you do it for a living, right? Seriously, so much of what you write is what I am sure so many of us feel at 43 and married for 15 plus years! Keep writing!


  8. Amy Norton
    May 11, 2010 @ 15:08:45

    You’re saying everything I’m thinking, Molls! Nail on the head…you hit it! XO a.


  9. gina
    May 12, 2010 @ 16:44:38

    Very sweet post Molly, so well said! At a certain point of marriage and parenthood it is great to celebrate and embrace all those things that seemed so mundane and boring before you experienced them. George and I still laugh about where we started (Trotters) and where we have ended up-almost 18 years of wedded bliss!


  10. Grace Sarber
    May 17, 2010 @ 01:55:37

    Happy Mother’s Birthersary, Molly!
    Could just picture you sitting on that softball field talking on your cell. Totally related. Although down here it would have been sweating our tuckuses off. 🙂
    Can’t wait to get more.
    Much love! G.


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