10 years since our first date

2006 – We’d known each other for a year. During the summer break, I’d been overseas and we hadn’t seen each other. On the first day of lectures I’m pleased to see him hanging around before my criminal and public law classes. We both start coming to class earlier and earlier to spend time together. He later confesses that he went to every lecture stream on that first day to find me.

2007 – I get a summer internship in a different city. He comes too. He finds a dead branch in the botanical gardens and carves it into a Hanukkiah. He teaches me how to say the blessings.

2008 – We go away together for a weekend trip to Waiheke. We visit vineyards and feel like we’re pretending to be grown ups.

2009 – We find a tiny studio apartment and move in together. We put postcards on the wall instead of pictures and have friends round even though there is no space. He takes washing to the laundromat while I do the dishes.

2010 – A cat turns up at my parents’ place and doesn’t leave. My parents don’t want the cat. So he insists that we move into a place that will let us have the cat.

2011 – We get married. On our honeymoon, we make plans to come back on our ten year wedding anniversary with our kids.

2012 – We move to a different city and are training for Trailwalker. Every Saturday we spend the whole day walking together. That’s how we fall in love with Wellington.

2013 – His aunt and uncle send us some baby clothes. I keep taking them out of the draw and telling him “we’re going to have a tiny person this big!” He looks nervous.

2014 – While I’m in labour at hospital I hold his forearms through the contractions and feel him supporting my weight. The next night, he has to go home and I have to stay at the hospital with the baby. I call him after five minutes and start crying. I don’t want to be by myself.

2015 – He has a bath with our son most nights and at the end of the bath I come into the bathroom with a towel and he says: “one, two, three, blast off to mummy cuddles!” and he lifts our son up high into my arms.

2016 – It’s ten years since our first date and we have two little boys now. He burps the baby after each feed and at three in the morning I can hear him walking up and down the hallway, softly singing, while I drift back to sleep.