I think I knew it all along. When I met him, I think I knew. Because I can remember what he was wearing. Isn’t that crazy? The day I met Hunter, when I came downstairs in the dorm I worked at because a friend called to tell me to come meet some guys she’d just met, I remember him. Blue ABAC shirt that he still has (and wears), jeans, hat. I remember looking at him and thinking he was “cute.”
Then Laura told me later that she liked him and that was it. I wasn’t interested. I slipped into being friends with him, recovering from a just broken heart and then college life. I helped him write English papers. We hung out at parties where I was the “take care of everyone else” girl, and he was loving life and all that college entails.
But there was a night toward the end of my time there that we (all our friends) were hanging out and reminiscencing about the year, missing those that had moved home already and dreading the final months before our little college-built family would be separated. I was done at my beloved school, and I was moving back home to go to the university. Hunter and I….still friends. He and Laura were trying their hand at dating, even though she’d already left our school and moved back home.
During this one night, after a particularly long week of tests and stress, we were doing what weekends in a small college town entails…hanging out. I’ll confess this. I’d had a few drinks. I never drank. I was always of the philosophy that I would drink when I was legally old enough since there wouldn’t be worries about getting caught then. But this one night, I did. At various points in the night, Hunter and I ended up talking. It’s not hard when there are 10 of you hanging out. He admitted that he and Laura were breaking up; he knew it and she knew it. I offered up encouragement and the keep trying speech, even though my heart wasn’t in it. He smiled, nodded and we changed the subject.
Hours later, in the middle of the night (because who sleeps in college?) and many, many hours after my couple of drinks, we took a walk down the street you see above. A small country road with cotton and peanuts on the sides. Just to find a little quiet, something Hunter and I still search for. The street you see in the picture above? It’s where I began to feel that deep-down panic…the one I feel when I know something is for real. A dog chased us back down that road after only a few minutes, but I came away from that walk knowing that something was about to change. I knew it and didn’t want to hear it. I had plans and I wasn’t changing them for anyone or anything.
Two weeks later, officially broken up, Hunter asked me out on an official date that I didn’t realize was a date. 🙂 Denial is one of my best attributes.
Eleven years later, he can still melt me with a kiss. I love him more than I ever dreamed I could love a man. I need him more than I ever imagined. He’s not perfect. Neither am I. We sometimes yell and get mad at each other. We can be hard on each other. We can stay angry for days. We’re both extremely stubborn.
But we love.
And in our love, we’ve made two beautiful boys. We’ve moved five times I think in 11 years. We’ve succeeded and we’ve failed. But we’ve loved.
God gave me a wonderful husband and father. He gave me the one man who can put up with me and all of my quirks. He’s the man who can stop me with a simple word or touch, and then remind me to calm down and just breathe. He loves me like no one else ever has or will. He loves our children like no one else ever could. He can still make my pulse race with a kiss. He can look across a room at me during some event that neither of us want to be at and give me that knowing smile because he’s reading my mind.
And, from the lines of one of my favorite songs, that’s what makes it a love song. We don’t have to say a word. We just know.
And it all started on a small street in south Georgia when two kids decided to take a walk one night. Nothing happened between us on that night. Nothing had to. But everything changed.
And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Hunter, I love you. I love you doesn’t begin to express the love and trust I have in you. You are the best and only husband for me. You are the best and only father for our children. I know we may disagree and struggle and that outside opinions of our relationship really irritate you. But what’s inside that relationship is all that matters.
Thank you for loving me, for making me a mother and for not giving up on me. Ever.
Happy belated Father’s Day,