Happy Anniversary to My Ever-Lovin’ Cradle Robber

We thought we were pretty darn scandalous, back when we started. He was a teacher, I was a student. He was 32, I was 17.

OK, I am milking this just a bit. My hubby was a teacher…of law students, and I wasn’t one of those, as I was too busy being a Senior in high school at the time. So he wasn’t MY teacher–duh. And, yes, he was, and, amazingly, still is 15 years old than I am, but, as I’ve always told people who gasp, “But doesn’t the AGE DIFFERENCE make things tough?”: “Actually, no, he was always very mature for his age.”

Still, we kept our relationship secret for two thrilling months. Then, when I finally confessed our relationship to my mom, she said…

“Ah, yes. I thought so.” So much for scandal.

Today my cradle-robbing sweetie and I celebrate our 26th anniversary. (If you count from when we started our relationship, it’s actually been 34 1/2 years. We’re not the rush-into-marriage type, obviously.)

Still goin' strong after 34 1/2 years

Still goin’ strong after 34 1/2 years

A year ago, we celebrated by renewing our vows. Our sons were both there, and let me tell you, there ain’t NOTHIN more precious than listening to your kids make funny-sweet speeches at the wedding of their own two parents.

I don't mind violating my husband's privacy, but you'll just have to imagine our sons off to the side, making us laugh & cry.

I don’t mind violating my husband’s privacy, but you’ll just have to imagine our sons off to the side, making us laugh & cry.

So what about that age difference? The only weirdness I can remember is when my own sons reached that age-17 benchmark and started imagining how they would feel if their female friends were dating a 30-something. Their reaction was pretty much, “EWWW.” Of course I assured them that my 17 year-old self was far, FAR more mature than their own friends. 🙂

Ken’s on Medicare now; I have to buy my own insurance. He’s retired; I’m still working. Of course he works harder in retirement than he ever did for a paycheck–yup, I married that kind of guy–but it’s all work he wants to do, like building me a special rack for my earrings, made out of a myrtle branch.

We will have our unique challenges as he ages before me. We know it’s unlikely that he’ll ever have much of a relationship with any grandchildren our sons may someday produce. We know I’m likely to outlive him, maybe by 15 years or more. On the other hand, as Ken points out, I could walk in front of a bus tomorrow–or, on our island, a deer. We’ll take what comes, and feel ridiculously grateful for it.

So, tonight? We’re going on a picnic. He’s not a big flowers-and-jewelry guy, but when I worried that our picnic might be nixed by rain, he said, “So what? We’ll wear rain gear.” Now that’s MY kind of romantic.

And our special dinner? Well, when someone says, “How you doing? Need anything?” Ken’s always responded, “A steak sandwich and a root beer float would be nice.” So guess what we’re having. I’m gonna go pack it all up in ice right now and stuff it into my knapsack.

But don’t tell Ken. It’s a surprise. Happy Anniversary, babe.

So…what’s the age diff in your relationship? Anyone beat 15 years? Any women out there older than their male spouses? What’s that like? I love when you share!

9 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary to My Ever-Lovin’ Cradle Robber

  1. My husband and I will celebrate our 45th anniversary tomorrow. We married when I was 19 and he was 24. He was so happy when I turned 20. He didn’t think it looked good for an officer and a gentleman to be married to a teenager. (He was in the Air Force.)
    Happy anniversary to you both!

  2. Thirty-four years ago I married an older man, too – 6 months older! Even though he and I are essentially the same age, I sometimes fret about the same things you do – my outliving him, whether he’ll get to know grandchildren our kids might someday have. And, I share your same gratitude for the good fortune we have to be together now. Thanks for sharing the story of your long, strong romance, Gretchen. Best wishes to both of you – for many more years and for a glorious sunset tonight like the one we got last night.

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