The coach has turned back into a pumpkin. At least one of the horses has turned back into a mouse (that's another story entirely). The sparkly paste jewelry is tucked back in the white rectangular box, shoved to the dark recesses at the back of the drawer. And the dress I wore seven years ago is again ready for dry cleaning, perhaps to be worn on another future Cinderella occasion.
This afternoon, with children napping and Doug home early from work, I spent more time "getting ready" than I've spent all year. The out-of-production sparkly strawberry-scented skin powder made its yearly appearance for this special occasion--an anniversary date night with my husband. I even had the luxury of fretting over which shoes to wear on a 77 degree winter day.
A few hours later, looking totally unlike the worn-out people who mumble "how-was-your-day" under the covers before turning out the lights, we dumped our three children at their (blessed) grandparents' house and went to enjoy a quiet dinner by ourselves.
For a few short hours, I wasn't "Mommy! Emerson poo pooed in his underwear!" or "What's that, mommy?" (said while holding a huge deer tick) or "What if they run out of bread?!...Well, what if they stop making bread? THEN what?"
I was simply a wife enjoying a tenth anniversary dinner with my husband.It's not the first decade of marriage that I would have planned for us, but I can't imagine where we might be if we hadn't struggled together, suffered together, and survived together by supporting, comforting each other and seeking the Lord together.
I may have no glass slippers, no kingdom, and no royal title to show for ten years' laboring to make a marriage work...and ten years from now, I still may not.
But I have a husband whom I love more dearly than I did a year ago and who loves me, too. Somehow, that's worth a whole lot more than anything in Cinderella's happily ever after.