I've just realized that I spend so much time gushing about my son that I've completely bypassed the one topic that directly impacted his existence ... My husband!
We met in the spring of our junior year of high school. I was a participant on a youth retreat, and he was one of the "team members" that was putting it on. To be more precise, he was the "leader" of the table that I had been assigned to.
I will always remember the first thing he said to me during that fateful weekend.
It was lunch time on the first full day and, after getting my lunch, I went to sit down at the table I had been assigned to. He was already there, and to make sure that he realized what an independent girl I was, I recall saying "I'm only sitting here because my name is on the table," before I sat down.
What a way to set things straight! I certainly didn't want him to think that I was sitting down because of him or anything ...
He didn't really respond. He probably just nodded, and then we continued to eat in mostly silence.
"*NSync sucks," he eventually piped up, referring to the (awesome) tee-shirt that I was wearing.
That was it.
No lead in or follow up. Just a quick, matter-of-fact comment and he was done.
I should take this moment to just come clean and fully admit that I was a huge *NSync fan. I had all of the merchandise, went to all of the concerts (even one that was taking place in the city that I happened to be on vacation in) after camping out for the tickets, and I seriously believed that I'd somehow get Justin Timberlake to marry me ... I was one of those obnoxious boy band fans. But I certainly wasn't flaunting my *NSync love that day. I had just decided to wear my shirt.
Anyway ... Being the independent girl that I was, I pretty much ignored the statement. I probably just laughed it off.
But I (obviously) never forgot it.
How many people can say that the love of their life, their husband and partner in all of life's challenges, used an insult to get their attention?
I guess the backwards nature of it all sums up our relationship pretty well. We were never the typical couple ... We did things our way (or, probably more accurately, my way) and on our own time. We didn't really succumb to the pressures from our friends or from "dating" in general. I think that is the main reason why our relationship survived the ending of high school, four years of me being away at college (while he stayed home), and the nearly five years of marriage since then. Things were never easy ... It is in my nature to complicate them, I think ... But we persevered.
All of this gives me hope that as we raise our son, we will continue to be true to ourselves and our values and what we think is important in life. Maybe he will have a different experience than many of his peers, but hopefully he will be better because of it.
I know his father and I are.