Daniel and I have been married for two-and-a-half years, now. It's been quite the ride, learning how to peacefully cohabit. We're such different people, so it can be quite tricky sometimes to remember not just to be civil, but to be thoughtful. To be kind and encouraging takes forethought and impulse control. Marriage sure grows a person up, quick-like!
Since we've been married for such a short time, I'm still well aware of the vast amounts of information we don't know about each other. Tonight we played a fun game for our family night to give us a chance to fill in some of the blanks. It was super simple, one that I plan to play again, and often. It's a game of stories. We started with school day lunches, then went to playing after school, then playing during school. This is part of the stories we told:
When I was young, my brother and sister and I played outside on the block all summer long. We lived in a hilly neighborhood, but there was a flat spot many ups and downs from our house on which we would ride bikes around and around. I spent hours riding there, back and forth, growing and graduating from little two-wheeler to big-kid bike to adult-sized. We all rode with no hands (because that was cool), even if we had the wrong kind of bike for it. I nearly crashed several times while showing off on a little-kid bike.
Just down the hill from there was a wide ravine which the road traversed. My brother and his friends would clamber through the bushes and up the sides, into the forest it fell from, building forts and swinging from the questionable rope swing set up on one of the sides. That rope swing was quite a thrill, because you swung out from near the top of the ledge into nothing, not daring to let go and fly down the rocky, bramble-y slope.
Daniel didn't live by a forest. He grew up a football field's length from the river, and when they got old enough, they built forts down by the water. His family owned the nursery even then, and always had pallets available to play with. The boys nailed those pallets into every shape imaginable, from clubhouses at the river's edge, to garden beds, to tool sheds. That was the life. Once, Daniel and his brother drew up plans for an entire underground city, complete with different chambers and buildings. They dug for weeks, ready to build a most amazing wonder with their dirt and pallet slats, but had to give up because the ceiling of their hand-dug cave was unstable. Also, the neighbors probably didn't appreciate the gigantic hole the boys dug in their hillside.
At school, we both ate hot lunch provided by the school. One of my favorites was Taco Day, when we would choose between hard shell and soft shell, then get to pile on the fillings of our choice. I never once got the knack of taking just enough for my tortilla, but would always barely fold it over the hulking pile of deliciousness, only to squish most of it out with each bite. Messy. But oh, so good!
Both of us loved the mashed potatoes and turkey gravy option that was served occasionally. I don't know how they got it so good, but it was good. Neither of us has seen that same dish served elsewhere. "Classic cafeteria food," Daniel called it. Is it not served because it's not actually as good as I remember, or because it isn't fancy?
Our stories are so interesting to us! This game could be made formal, with prompts on pieces of paper or just made up, spur of the moment. Other interesting topics include first crush/kiss/dating experience, hardest part about high school, favorite games in elementary school, proudest moments of childhood, silly antics from those early memories that might not make total sense now, and so many more.
Do you know your spouse's stories?