18 years ago, I was ending my freshman year in college and in the last days of finals week was arranging with 5 other girls to rent a house for next year. At the last moment two of them backed out, so with one day left my friends and I desperately searched for two replacement roommates. One of my friends knew two guys who needed a place to live. Boys? We asked, do we really want to live with boys? Well we were desperate. One of them was a wild green haired boy with a nose ring who seldom made it to class, spent a lot of time riding his bike and seemed to always show up at the dorm when we were drinking. Sure we figured. Why not?
Well the summer came and we all went our separate ways. Come fall of the next year, we all moved back to Eugene and into our house together. We spent the first few months of the school year having a grand time, partying and studying (well, I did) and being young. That green haired boy and I spent a lot of time sitting around together. We listened to music and walked to campus. We argued over who had to clean up the dishes. He didn't know how to cook at all, so when my mom came to visit she taught him a few things - like how to make minute rice. She saw right through all his wild exterior and declared him a "nice boy". We both dated other people. Until one of our other housemates clued me in that he loved me. And I started looking at him differently. And then, 17 years ago on this day, that green haired boy kissed me and our relationship changed forever.
Oh, 17 years is a long time and we have had our ups and downs. We still do (as can be noted by how many times on this blog I reference his grumpiness) but I still see that young green haired boy in him and I hope he still sees the sweet 19 year old girl in me.
In honor of my love today and to provide some balance to all the grumpiness I complain of, here are a few of the many things I love about him:
He gets our kids. He is the only other person in the world who gets them like I do.
He has all kinds of special rituals that he does with the kids like a special “back-scratching” game with Miss E, or letting them get the super-carts at the grocery store.
He tries to fix everything for me (uh..this one could be good or bad, let's just say it's good)
He’s always here and never even threatened to be anywhere else, even when things were really bad.
He is strong.
He is always trying to grow and better himself.
He does not try to change me.
He is a super-involved, hands-on, super-duper daddy.
He’s a firefighter but never tries to play the hero card to make him better than anyone else.
He works hard for our family.
He never complains or says anything about how much money I spend even when he has ample grounds to do so.
He wants me to have more in my life. To not "just be a mom" and pushes me to not get too complacent in that role with the full awareness that it won't last forever.
And so much more. 17 years is a long time and I am grateful for every one of them. Well, maybe not that one about 3 years ago but every OTHER one. : )
Side note: Why, you might ask, is your daily picture of you and Mr. T and not of you and the lovely Peter? Well my friends he is at work. And aside from seeing his dark shape get out of bed at 5:30 this morning, I have not seen him today. Kind of like on our wedding anniversary.