Typical relationship steps (as if there’s a typical relationship):
- Boy meets girl.
- Boy and girl date.
- Boy and girl date exclusively.
- Boy and girl analyze everything about each other.
- Boy and girl either break-up, or wait until each thinks they’ve been together long enough, and tie the knot.
Cut to a baby’s first relationship:
- Baby enters world.
- Baby meets family.
- Baby is instantly part of the most serious, long-term relationship he will ever be in…forever. Hello, family!
It’s both beautiful and scary at the same time. A baby is assigned parents, for better or worse. There’s no Parent-Match.com.
On the one hand, there’s instant, unconditional love, without anyone needing to lie about likes/dislikes or put on makeup before the other wakes up. On the other hand, if it isn’t a great match, you’re stuck.
Funny, but true.
Marriage vows try to mirror this same ideology, but it’s unrealistic to expect two adults to skip the analytics and criticisms that come with age, knowledge and experience, and fall perfectly into true, unconditional love.
Babies need parents in a way adults typically don’t need each other. It’s the same with pets. A dog knows who feeds it and takes it out, and that’s where we get the old adage, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
When the idea for this blog sparked, I thought it would just be funny to mention how babies are thrust into relationships without the usual dalliance. Now that I put it all down, I can see a more serious moral to the story. Without need, relationships are conditional and disposable.
It’s not all about passion, love and sex. It’s about focusing on improving someone else’s life, and scratching an itch they otherwise can’t reach. Without the right partner, one could itch incessantly.
A vow is a solemn promise to live in accordance with a certain, binding set of rules. The vows we said at the justice of the peace for our first ceremony were traditional – the same ones said by many who came before us, many since, and many still to come. For our formal wedding ceremony, we chose to write our own.
I expect to be held to these, and I expect my husband to honor his, too. We have them in writing so we can look at them and be reminded of the promises we made to each other. May we always carry that hope and love that radiated all around us on our wedding day.
Andrew’s vows to me:
Katie, I didn’t know what true love meant until our paths intersected and I picked up the one for e at Logan International. Thanks for getting on that plane. Life has been good to me – and you’ve made it immeasurable better. Your laugh, your smile, your boundless zeal for living life – I’m so lucky to have found you. I know there will be good days and bad ones – and many others in-between, but together we can do anything. I could – and everyone here knows I actually can – talk forever, and I still would fail to adequately express how you make me feel. But I’ll get to the point. I love you. I will always love you. I’m so proud to be your husband and am so honored to have you as my wife. You are my reason for being until I take my last breath. Let’s do this. I love you baby.
My vows to Andrew:
The first thing I noticed about you was your awesome energy and enthusiasm for life. I will never forget you looking me straight in the eyes and saying, “Let’s do this.” I knew then that you were committing to never letting me, or us, down. Your genuine passion for, and commitment to everything you love is amazing, and I am so honored and grateful to be a recipient of your intensely beautiful love. Your smile and laugh instantly make me smile and laugh, and I want to bring that contagious joy out of you as much as possible. Marriage is a lot of work and a huge responsibility, without the option of giving up or quitting the team. It means that we are submitting to each other for life. Your needs over my own. I give myself to you because I trust you to handle me with care. I want everything for you and with you, and I will do my best to be a partner who can support or lead, always knowing that what’s best for us, is best for me. You are my soulmate and my very best friend, and I vow to give you the most perfect love I can for the rest of my life.