Friday, October 28, 2011

So... how`d you meet?

I live someplace new, so I am meeting new people. Inevitably it is asked... so, how did the two of you meet? More than just a tiny part of me is somewhat hesitant to share our story with strangers. Sad to say, but I fear the judgment. Because ours isn't a classic love tale.

It does not take a math wiz to figure out what the following dates mean; Jeff and I became a permanent party of two in May of 2008 and Noah was born in December of 2008.

Let`s rewind.

I had been living in Maryland where I first worked as a manager for a fantastic little winery and then an event planner for a fantastic little museum. Meanwhile my brother in law was starting a fantastic little business himself and asked if I would be interested in coming back to Raleigh to help him in his efforts.

I had been back in Raleigh for only a few short weeks, living in an apartment right on Glenwood South, within walking distance to wonderful restaurants, night life, shopping... I had started a new chapter in my life and was probably the happiest I could recall being in a very long time.

One night I decided to walk out my front door and down a few blocks to a wine bar to meet up with some girlfriends. I was sipping on a perfectly chilled glass of vigonier when in walks the most handsome man I had ever seen. Those were, literally, the exact words I said to my girlfriends when I first spotted Jeff from across the bar.

I am horribly shy when it comes to talking to guys (you should hear almost every 'first kiss' story I have, they are roll-on-the-floor-with-laughter hilarious) so I sent one of my friends over to see if she could get Jeff and his friend over to our group. Said friend had been drinking all day at the NCSU football game and, while I do not know what was exchanged between the two, my friend came stumbling back saying he was a jerk because he did not like to tailgate.

This was my in, 'I have to apologize for my friend...' I said, trying so hard to seem cool.

And then I was in. I can't even remember what we talked about, but we talked all night long. Jeff offered to drive me the 3 blocks home, and when we were sitting in my driveway he asked me to brunch the next morning.

And so we started dating. It was very casual; not only was he twelve years my senior, but I knew that he was planning on moving to Japan in a couple months. I decided that it would be best if we didn't start a physical relationship because we both knew it would be ending when he moved to Japan.

But then one night I had to go and have a wine party.

Yep, I am that cliche girl who has a little too much to drink and gets pregnant the first time she has sex with her boyfriend.

After I found out I was pregnant it was like the proverbial switch inside of me was turned. Everything I did and all that I was, was for this baby. The change that happened in me was immediate; my life was no longer about me, my cool apartment in the cool part of town, or my social life. I was going to be a mother.

We decided to get married so that I could be on Jeff's medical insurance. I was self employed, working for my brother in law, and could not get private coverage because of my 'pre existing condition' of being pregnant.

Look at me; nervous smile, thinking `what the hell am I doing?!`

I have to pause here and reflect. This is not how I imagined my wedding day. I am, for the most part, more of a realist vs. romantic. But I did (and still DO) have the perfectly planned, just yet to be orchestrated, wedding in my head. There was nothing romantic about that day. My mom brought me the flowers I am holding, tied together with pink and blue ribbons, because she wanted me to have a bouquet. I made it clear that the marriage was just for the baby which is why she chose the pink and blue ribbons. 

Six weeks after we married I was driving Jeff to the airport for Japan. Before he got out of the car he looked at me and told me he loved me. The first time we said those three words to one another.

And we did love one another. We arrived at love in an unconventional way, but there we were, in love.

I decided to come to Japan with Jeff, that we would be a family.

And somewhere along the line, our love has grown. It has changed, it has been tested, it has been strengthened. But it is love. However unconventional. 

I call Noah our little matchmaker. 

Now I have to pause and reflect again. I can not imagine my life without my children. And I can not imagine having any other children than THESE children with THIS man. They are our `meant to be babies`. 

And who knows, maybe one day we will have that perfectly planned wedding. With Noah carrying the rings and Amelia sprinkling flower petals. 

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