I had an awesome day yesterday, which is, of course, why I didn’t post about the occasion that day – I was too busy experiencing it! We went to the Aquarium, which is shaping up to be our family outing of choice. Last time we went, Leo was a mere 3 months old. That trip was a success, although not as big of a success as yesterday. NOW, Leo is actually big enough to fully appreciate a tunnel where sharks, fish and sea turtles swim all around you, and he was more than happy to sit in the “theater” and watch the Manta Rays flying and floating around, so we were even able to watch the Manta Ray “show” this time. I even got to touch a few of the Rays while FireDaddy was busy holding little man – Leo’s intentions in regard to the Manta Ray pool being clear. (DIVE in and swim with the FISHIES!) So I got a bit of alone time with the beautiful Rays. Touching a Manta Ray is like touching a soft, ever so slightly slimy creature made of wet velvet. They’re so beautiful to watch, as they drift and splash through the water, and they seem to truly enjoy being petted. One especially large Manta kept coming back to me, and splashing at the edge of the pool. I think he and I had a bit of a crush on each other. Somehow, despite the whole swimming thing, the Rays reminded me of cats, drifting lazily by our outstretched hands, occasionally deigning to allow us to stroke their backs, but only on their mysterious terms, and only in the appropriate manner … I could probably ramble on about them for hours. I realized yesterday that I am a Manta Ray addict. FireDaddy bought me a grey stuffed Ray of my very own to take home. We pretended it was for Leo, although he also got a stuffed Sea Turtle, which he seems to prefer. Then we made our way to one of my many favorite restaurants, P.F. Chang’s. I got to stuff myself happy on Chicken Lettuce Wraps – possibly my favorite food ever, and Almond Cashew Chicken. Even FireDaddy, usually leery of exotic food, especially of the chinese variety, was extremely happy with his meal. I haven’t really touched on the subject yet in this blog, but I ADORE good food. Cooking it, eating it, smelling it, reading about it… I’m a little bit of a foodie. I am. So as not to confuse you, however, I’ll leave further discussion of this subject for another post. I only mention the situation so that you understand how truly happy it made me to eat well prepared food that I didn’t have to cook or wash up dishes after. It was a wonderful night. On our ride home, we got lost. I didn’t mind. It was so nice to ride, FireDaddy’s arm around my shoulder, Leo asleep in his car seat in his favorite PJ’s and night-time diaper. I just kept thinking – Three years ago, on this day, in a 100-year-old log cabin, we took the first steps on our path as a family. Neither one of us really knew what that word “family” even meant, or how to work together to be one. We honestly didn’t have a clue what we were getting into – really, does anyone? And yes, it’s been a rough path. Those people who said we’d never make it, who said we were too young, too damaged, too scared to make it, were almost right. Almost, but not quite. Not yet, and as far as I’m concerned, not ever. Because I may not be perfect – or even halfway perfect, but when I repeated my vows, and promised to stand by him in sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death – I meant it. And I believe in us, as screwed up, “crazy” and occasionally dysfunctional as we may be. We didn’t know, when we stood in front of “Papa Joe”, our hilarious, cuddly, Justice of the Peace to repeat our vows, that it would lead us to where we were last night – hundreds of miles away, in a beach town, lost and driving around, laughing and talking, with our beautiful son asleep in the back seat. We didn’t know it would end well. We still don’t. But I think, for both of us, that no matter what possibilities for disaster there may be lurking in the shadows, the journey we’re on has already proved to be “worth it”. Happy Anniversary my love. Thank you for a wonderful day, an amazing, beautiful son, and a great life. Here’s to the next 30 years of getting lost and having adventures.