This was a thought-provoking question posed to me by one of our MYP yesterday in the car. "Mom? When you met dad for the first time, was it love at first sight?" I think she wanted me to say "Yes! I knew the moment I met your father that we would be a team until one of us breathed our last breath!" But I had to say in reality, "No".
The setting: Under a tree
The location: Green River, UT
The date: June (something) 1992
We politely shook hands - my mostly nice older brother initiated the conversation. We talked about our trip to the west - us from Minnesota and he and my 2nd cousin from Wisconsin. We were to embark on a five-plus white-water rafting trip through the Cataract Canyon in SE Utah.
I was just 27. Very content with my living situation by this time - had great roommates, lots of friends, a traveling job, and a little spending money in my pocket with no one to tell me how to part with it. Life was simply good and I was happy.
The Chairman? He was very content in his place as well. Landed a great job after grad school. Was soon to be looking for a place to live. He had friends and family close to him. Life was good and he was happy.
I wish I could have found the photo of what we looked like. Just think early 90's in shades of teal, royal blue and hot pink with younger looking faces and dark hair with the Chairman sporting a full-professor-looking beard. If I were at all thinking of that 'someone', he would be tall, blonde, blue-eyed, and the life of a party in his joking ways and affable laugh. You get the picture, he wasn't what I thought I was looking for (not that I was looking... or was I?)
But for some reason, I was drawn to this mysterious man. He was extraordinarily smart. So smart I found him slightly odd. The beard? I figured it was because we were in the outdoors. He was quiet. He was a stranger, yet I felt like I understood him for some reason. I could almost tell what he was feeling in a weird way. Was it love? Not yet.
Fast forward one year. I was lying on a lumpy mattress in the middle of Venezuela in July of '93. I was visiting there for two weeks. One Saturday night after being in that country for a week, I wanted to talk to the the Chairman. I wanted to talk to him very badly. I missed him. A very lot. I felt a tear roll down the side of my eye to the pillow. It was then I knew. I loved him. One full year after meeting him. It was yet another year before he asked me to be the Mrs. Chairman. But I'm thankful we had that time to do the 'background checks'. We needed it and it felt right to have some of life's experiences under the belt before we said our "I do's".
When we received our babies - two through adoption and one by birth, I must say with all three, the love came by day two. At first I would look at them with wonder and awe and joy. And then after 24 hours it hit me with waves of deep emotion.... love for this new little person and soul we were entrusted with.
So love. Is it at first sight? No. It is experiences in life that are utterly joyful and utterly sad. It is gestures. It is consideration. It is disagreements handled with dignity. It is romance. And it is... something you really cannot explain.
What's your story?