Five years ago today I married my best friend.
As I look back at every version of myself, I have no problem saying it has been the best five years of my life.
No offense high school and college me, but you guys just don't hold a candle to happily married for five years me. You may have gotten summer vacations, but I get to wake up every morning to the love of my life. You had it easy, no doubt. But you also didn't get to see your first children born, so I'm counting that one in the win category for the me of the last five years.
Colorado me tries to make claims that he had a pretty good run, and I don't disagree that it was a beautiful and enjoyable time. There was a lot of freedom and getting to know myself there. I also got to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Unfortunately it was also a time spent away from Erin. As Colorado me knows, this will always be a time that I missed out on years we can never get back. Once again this one goes to happily married for five years me.
The me of the last five years also takes the win in sports memories. From attending a World Series game to watching my team win it all, it was only made better with my wife by my side and my children on the way. It only is made better having spent it with someone you care about. Sorry every other me, but you didn't see the Giants win the World Series. Happily married for five years me wins yet again.
The thing that earlier iterations of myself could never understand is how incomplete they were. You couldn't convince me of that in high school or college or any time really. I was dating the woman that would become my wife throughout most of that time, but I wouldn't spend every day with her until we got married. I thought I had it all I needed in life until I heard my beautiful girls say "Dada."
You don't know how empty your arms were until you've held someone you love in them. You don't know how empty your heart really was until it's been filled up. I've held Erin and my daughters, and it was the first time my arms felt full. My heart has spent the last five years being filled to the point of overflowing.
I love you eringirl. You've brought so much joy to my life. You constantly challenge me to be a better man without condecension. You value my opinion over all others (or at least you don't tell me otherwise so you don't hurt my feelings). You truly look at me as your partner and not just some guy that doesn't do the laundry nearly enough. You're the first person I see every morning (except when you put Grace in the bed to wake me up) and the last person I see as I drift off to sleep.
I love my life, and this amazing five year run all started with an "I do." I wouldn't have it any other way.