2/27 Who has shown you an example of a healthy relationship? How has that changed you? Have you thanked them?
About a month ago I called my mom to check in after her birthday. She told me it felt like a normal Monday. She watched Lucas and Henry and then went to marriage group. At the end of meeting together, her group switched on the Beatles' version of Hey Hey It's Your Birthday and everyone started singing. Then my dad brought out a homemade, cubbie-blue, gluten-free chocolate cake with candles. I don't care how old you are. Hearing people sing Happy Birthday, blowing out candles and eating cake (gluten or not) is the best. There are reasons this tradition has stood the test of time. Then she told me the cake read "Happy Birthday My Baby!"
My mom turned 61 that day and my dad is 63 years old today (someone get him cake!)
I couldn't get that cake vision out of my head. First, the love and thoughtfulness of my dad to bake a cake at home and (somehow as a surprise) transport it over to marriage group. Then, to make it without gluten to accommodate the birthday girl and decorate it with all things cubs... clearly 3+ decades of marriage has allowed my dad to truly know my mom.
But the "Happy Birthday My Baby!" part felt like a sentiment we might expect from a dating couple not seasoned marriage veterans. This is the sort of thing that would have flattened me with embarrassment as a high schooler, but now I kinda can't get enough of it.
My parents were the ones my volleyball teammates would snicker at while we warmed up because they were actually KISSING in the bleachers. Like. Ew.
They were the ones who would dance in the kitchen, harmonize together while singing songs from my dad's days in glee club, and smack each other's bottoms in public. I grew up with my hands covering my face and saying things like... DAAAAAAAAAD... STAAAAAAAAAAAHP (midwest accent at its finest.)
But these two have done more for the good of my relationships than any other two people on the planet. They instilled a security around me that relationships can last. They showed their love (unashamedly as previously stated) and that allowed me the confidence to believe in their love as much as they did. They fought in front of us but never in a way that was scary. They genuinely cheered for each other, celebrated milestones and were never too-far-past flowers for no reason. They were friends and they laughed a lot together.
So thanks, mom and dad, for being the relationship that I look up to most. It is no small thing to grow up in a family rock-solid in love. Thanks for sacrificing for each other, for choosing each other and even for kissing in the bleachers.
Who have you learned from? Are you surrounding yourself with healthy relationships if you didn't grow up around one? Let's take the needed steps toward health in who we around so we can display healthy relationships to others.