February 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm , by Nick Shell
2 years, 3 months.
It was seven years ago today that Mommy and I stopped simply being friends, when I basically tricked her into going on a date with me to that fateful John Mayer concert.
Since February 5, 2007, we have been together; that day was such a defining moment in my life.
That was seven years ago! We have been married five and a half years; and you’ve been around for the past 3 years and 2 months.
In this moment, as I step back and think about it, I am so not the same person I was seven years ago when Mommy and I went on our first date.
I may have been more optimistic back then, but I definitely was much less experienced in life- therefore, I was much more naïve, by default.
Not only have I changed, but so has Mommy. The two of us have become improved versions of ourselves throughout the character-building exercises of marriage and parenthood.
We are different people than we were on February 5, 2007. The challenging part is always making sure we continue to grow up together, not apart. That’s what real love is about; it doesn’t always come easy or automatic.
Real love has required me to be more sensitive to her needs and less sensitive to mine.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned how I took that Ninja Turtle quiz on Spike.com which proved to me what I had already predicted about my personality: I am Leonardo, the aggressive, yet reluctant leader.
But I am confident that, had I taken that quiz seven, or even 5, or 3 years ago, I would have been a Raphael:
“Charming, charismatic, and very good with people… Unfortunately, you’re driven almost primarily by emotion, often to your detriment… It puts you on the defensive a lot.”
My goal these days is to be the calm-assertive leader; to not react so emotionally to emotional situations and to not take things personally… even if that’s how they were meant.
I am learning to be a stronger man. I am learning what empathy means.
If only I knew all this stuff back when I was only 26… man, I could have been so much better of a husband and dad from the beginning, had I only had this mindset since 2007.
But that’s not how it works. Instead, it’s that annoying learning curve of love.
What I am learning is that family is about growing together, which means learning the hard way together about how to become wiser, more improved, and more humbled versions of ourselves; and to earn a better understanding of what love really is:
Being more giving and sharing of myself and being less expecting of those things from others.