Today is Erin’s and my 10 year anniversary. It’s been a glorious time. We continue to be enormously blessed, with love and support flowing in from family and friends, with relatively good health, with the financial resources we need to raise a family, and with so many other things. We are unbelievably lucky to have a son like Jonah, who continues his daily march of intellectual, physical, and emotional development right before our eyes.

It is true, I think, that in these 10 years nothing has presented the challenge to us that has parenthood. We get less sleep, we have less time together, and we (unsurprisingly) are less able to cope with the random traumas of the day than we were previously. I heard it said once that travelling with a person helps to really know them. Well, travel has nothing on having a kid with them. Each of us has baggage, positive and negative, from our own childhood experiences and while we usually agree on a course of action, sometimes what the other person is doing with Jonah just seems weird or wrong. Occasionally hashing through those differences in a compressed amount of time and with marginal sleep has made for a few tense moments—notable in a 10-year marital relationship virtually devoid of such times.

But that minor annoyances such as these constitute the limit of our struggles surely indicates we’ve gotten things substantially right. And if Jonah has in part proved our biggest challenge, it’s not something from which we’re shying away: God willing, we plan to welcome child #2 into the world next May. (Which means we’re going to start trying next month.)

This evening Erin’s co-worker Vickie came to watch Jonah so that Erin and I could spend the evening out. We dined at the Old Europe Inn, a fantastic local restaurant with wonderful ambiance and generally French cuisine. I had the Ragout of Chicken; Erin had the Halibut. Mine was fantastic; her’s may have been better. Prices, running between $19 and $25, are high for the Salem market, but you can’t say you don’t get your money’s worth. Delicious stuff.

Afterward, we drove to and walked around Wallace Marine Park. Erin had only been there once before, and I’d never seen the softball fields close up, so we enjoyed meandering a bit. We stopped at The Courthouse just because it was in the vicinity. We’re not looking to join, but we both enjoyed looking at their amenities (swimming pools, workout areas, etc.). Some locations offer raquetball and tennis, but the per couple cost with those items is $114 a month and $1368 a year is a lot more than I’m willing to pay right now. Stopping in was a lark anyway.

We grabbed a Dairy Queen Blizzard before taking in a showing of the Ben Stiller comedy Dodgeball at Northern Lights, a relatively new McMinnemin’s-style food-beer-movie place. The movie was predictable, funny, and entertaining. The theatre has been impressively upgraded, and we hope to return. Seeing second-run movies for $3 in a nice environment sounds compelling to us.

So this is how we spent our 10 year anniversary. A little fine dining, a walk through a park, a dessert at a fast food joint, and a low-brow movie at a local second-run theater. (Our grateful thanks to Vickie for babysitting.) We’ve had a great 10 years together; we’re looking forward to more.