About 18 years ago, I met a girl in high school art class. She was smart, full of attitude, and really cute. We got to know each other in the next year, flirting, talking about the people we were seeing at the time, flirting some more, working on art projects, flirting…you get the point. I went off to college and we lost touch for a year. When I came back after the first year, her father was doing some work for my mother and he mentioned that I should give her a call. I did. That same night, we went to Friendly’s and caught up over Fribbles. I drove her home that night, and in her driveway, she gave me our first kiss. A little over 3 months later, I gave her an engagement ring, and 3 days shy of the anniversary of our first date, we were married.
After all the trials and tribulations, tears and fights, hurt feelings, moments of great joy and comfort, I would do it all over again. We did more than just stay together over the last 14 years; we grew up together. We grew to know each other and ourselves, and I like what I have become with her. I love who she has become with me. She is probably the only person who truly knows me.
If that was all I had, I would be happy, but 3 other things that we have added to our lives has made me feel complete in my life. My wife has given us three of the brightest, most beautiful, perfect children that were ever made. (In reality my kids are like any other kids, but as a parent it is part of the job to think that.) This post is to Lemony, my friend, my wife, the person I grew up with, and the person I want to grow old with.
Oh, elope with me in private and we'll set something ablaze,
a trail for the devil to erase... -- Belle & Sebastian, "Piazza, New York Catcher"
I followed him home one day, and he kept me. He always did have a special place in his heart for strays.
His brother toasted us at the wedding reception, quoting Yeats: "On this day, a terrible beauty is born". Andrew knew.
Two years later, we got in the car and drove to a different state, to start a new life. It was an almost spontaneous decision. Everything we owned fit in a Toyota Tercel, and that included the microwave and the dog.
When things were really hard between us, and we weren't sure we were going to make it, he spent his last dollar to take me to a theme park, and ride a bungee-like skycoaster ride. I liked to think of it as "taking the plunge" all over again. He hated that ride, but went with me anyway. I found that rather symbolic, and appreciated it, in every respect. The firstborn came soon afterward, which was a coaster ride of a whole different sort.
Together, we've learned how to be honest with ourselves and each other, and not take most things too seriously. We've faced parenthood, which is just about the scariest thing in the world, next to that other thing we weren't exactly expecting so soon--waiting for biopsy results.
He makes me laugh, he makes me cry. He brings me contentment, and he drives me crazy. He shakes me up, and yet he is my firm and solid ground. He's smart and sexy, and grows more so with each passing year. The kids and I have everything we need, and much of what we want, thanks to him.
Wort, you are the best man I've ever known. I'm grateful for every day I get to share with you.