A month or so ago, my oldest asked,
“How did you know when you loved Dad?“
How did I know?
Reed and I met on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. Our friends came with to make the date a little less awkward.
He was tall with broad shoulders and sleepy blue eyes (classic Norwegian) and wearing jeans, a yellow polo, boat shoes (classic 80’s).
He had a nice car. A 1987 silver-if-you-own-it, gray-if-you-don’t Grand Am. My 20 year old self was quite impressed.
We dined at The Century Elm, a local supper club. (Supper clubs are a Wisconsin thing.)
I couldn’t tell you much about supper (I believe there was a conversation about Pepsi vs. Coke), but it went well, and we decided to spend more of the evening together.
So we got high. (We went flying.)
That was followed up by a movie. Casual Sex (Couldn’t make this up. But in our defense, nothing else was playing.)
The evening ended without a kiss (he was afraid he’d scare me away).
And I was so disappointed when he didn’t call the next day (I didn’t know it then, but it was his dad’s birthday.)
There was a second date (a bike ride to Riverside Park and a first kiss while sitting on a park bench overlooking Neenah’s harbor).
And a third (sailing on Lake Winnebago…late spring…before the lake turned green).
We talked every single day either in person or via phone. (Back then phones were attached to a wall in your home. And texting wasn’t even a thing.)
We talked about everything.
We talked about our pasts (the good and the not-so-good).
We talked about the present (simple everyday stuff).
And we talked about the future.
And it didn’t take long before I knew. Without a doubt, I knew.
I knew because I couldn’t imagine my future without him.
I knew because while we shared so many interests (like skiing and biking), he was willing to try running and hiking and camping, and I was eager to give sailing and flying a try.
I knew because he was an optimistic, problem-solving extrovert who viewed challenges as opportunities.
I knew because of the notes he would leave for me when we weren’t together.
I knew because he’d bring dinner to school and sit and eat with me between classes.
I knew because of the rainy days we spent playing checkers at his parent’s cottage and because of his patience in teaching me the phonetic alphabet (still know it btw).
But most importantly, I knew because of how he made me feel…
And most definitely loved.
And as we celebrate our 29th anniversary this Sunday…
I feel blessed to feel the same way today.