The Plan: I would graduate, go to college, and continue to date Boy while he finished high school. He would start college, and we'd keep growing closer. I would never wonder if I was making the wrong decision, and he would never look at or drool over another girl. I'd graduate college. Get a job. He'd graduate. He'd get a job. Then we'd get married, buy a nice house, and have a little girl, and her name would be Samantha. She'd have my blue eyes, and his dark skin. She'd be a daddy's girl, and everyone in our lives would be jealous of the perfect life we had. That was the plan. Er, MY plan.
My senior year of high school, I went to a boarding academy, 12 hours away from Boy. I missed him immensely. I hated the school and everything about it. It was a move I had to make though, with circumstances that make complete sense to me now, having to do with going to a christian school. I wrote to Boy everyday, dreamed about him, stared at his picture, cried into my pillow every night, wondering how he was making it too. And then the unthinkable began to happen. I heard bits and pieces from family and friends back home that Boy was flirting with other girls. How dare he? How dare he be 15, and act his age?? These are things I know now, not then, of course. Then, I was incredibly hurt. Scared. Confused. Alone. Mad. Sad.
After the first six weeks of school, I went home for a long leave. I was so excited to see Boy and put all worries aside, and say "see? he loves me! we have a Plan!" Things were great the first two days of seeing each other again. He looked at me, held my hand, touched my face and said "I missed you soooo much. It's boring here without you." I beamed. I wanted to shout Told-ya-so's to all of the nay-sayers in my life. Hah Ha, you're wrong, I'm right. But then the weekend went down hill. I still heard talk about my Boy hanging out a lot with another girl while I was gone. So I confronted him. And he couldn't deny it any longer. "Babe!" he'd say, yes, even at 15 he called me Babe. "Babe! When I'm with you, all I want is you. When I'm with her, I want her!" He actually expected me to understand.
We broke up, almost three years to the day. I went back to school, heart-broken. It was awful. To this day, I remember too clearly the feeling of emptiness inside. At almost 18, I know I had truly loved him. And now, just like that, it was over. My Plan was no longer.
The days and months went on, and over time, I began to smile again. It was still hard, seeing him at home on break, but I did it. I still loved him, and my heart was still hurting, but I was moving on anyway. What choice did I have. Enter, the DiSH. Nine months OLDER than me. Tall. Light hair, green eyes. And boy'o'boy, I thought I had known what great kissing was! He was so different. And that confused me at first. He's not my type! I need to still hold out for Boy! But I was drawn in, and before I knew it, was laughing again. And it felt so good.
More months passed, and I will admit, I was still having a hard time letting go of Boy. He was my first love. I was his. Even as friends, I felt like we had something special. No one can take the place of your first. Friends and family thought they were helping by saying things like "much better choice" or "I knew you could do better". What does that mean? That my first love wasn't a good choice? But I had grown so much because of him. I was the way I was due in part to that very relationship. It hurt to hear people say those things.
The DiSH (stands for Dear Sweet Husband in case you're new and wondering.) and I were inseparable. We went to college together. He had a car. We went on real dates. He spoiled me with gifts. He protected me. He stuck by me, even through my confusion over Boy. He didn't truly get it, but he was steady and consistent. He confirmed his love for me by showing me his maturity while I was struggling.
He asked me to marry him after we had been together for a year and a half. I did not hesitate with my answer: Yes of course! I didn't have a Plan this time, I just knew it was me and him. Forever. Six months later, I came up the basement stairs of the church on my wedding day, preparing to walk down the isle to my Love. I was briefly startled by who I saw standing in the doorway....Boy. He had arrived late, and now had to wait to be seated, because the bride was about to enter the church. He looked at me, those big brown eyes never leaving my face, and I could see love there. But not the kind of love we had experienced together. No. It was a love that you feel for a good friend. Someone you will always care about for the rest of your life. It wasn't until later, when I allowed myself to relive that moment that I figured this out. That's when I smiled and knew he had given me a gift two and a half years earlier.
My first love had paved the way for me and my True Love.
THAT, was the real Plan.
And now, 19 and half years later, I am soooo in love with my man. :) He loves me unconditionally. He accepts my flaws, and when I say "I'm not perfect" he says "no, but you're perfect for me". Life is not easy, parenting three kids, living on one income so I can be home with those kids, most weeks, living paycheck to paycheck.
(yes, I know he has wings! that was the point of the picture.) :)
But I rest easy at night knowing that no matter what, I am safe. I am loved. I am wanted.
Life is short. So the DiSH and I will kiss slowly.
We will laugh insanely.
We will forgive quickly.
His arms hold me at my weakest, his eyes take me in when I am at my ugliest, and his heart loves me when I am at my worst.
This is True Love.
And He is why I smile...
We are planning a special 20th anniversary trip to New York City for next April! Yay!!