Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Quest

When I was young (I am still young, mind you) my dad was my hero. There wasn't anything that he didn't know or couldn't fix.  I used to walk hand in hand with him every Sunday evening; we would sing songs and he would tell me great stories like the "Wide Mouthed Frog," complete with vocal exaggeration and facial animation. I used to carry a bag on these walks of ours, the inscription on front read, "Interesting Things," which I would fill with knack-knacks and doo-dads that fascinated my seven-year-old mind. He was never so busy that I couldn't talk to him, and when I did, I knew I had his full attention. He picked me up when I was down, often times I left his shoulder soaked with tears. There wasn't anything that he didn't understand and couldn't help me understand. There still isn't.

I grew up along side my brother. We fought, as all siblings do, but I always knew he cared about me. He used to take me everywhere with him. Granted, this was before he could he would fold up a towel and position it on the cross bar of his bike (not the handlebars) and have me straddle it with my legs propped up so they didn't get in the way of his pedaling (yes, this was definitely not the most comfortable position in the world). We would ride around for hours like this. I don't even remember where we went. I just remember feeling completely safe with him (though, perhaps in this situation I probably should not have...) He was my big, tough brother, and despite our differences, I knew he would never let anything happen to me.

When I got older, I finally got the opportunity to get to know my oldest brother (something that is hard to do from 800 miles away, especially with a little sister who had the attention span of a sparrow). He is literally my twin; the fact that he is the oldest and I am the youngest has nothing to do with the matter. No one else gets me the way he does. He was my positive reinforcement growing up, always loving me for just exactly who I was, no more no less. He probably doesn't know how much it still means to me when he tells me he loves me and he is proud of me.

I remember the day my sister fell in love. At first I wasn't really thrilled that my soon-to-be brother in law was taking my sister away from me...but it wasn't long before I came around. It was hard to ignore that he adored my sister. He loved the quirky things that made her who she was (there are many of these things, and she won't deny any of them, which is one of the things I love about her). He treated me like his little sister, razzing me and giving me a hard time, but at the same time he took care to let me know that there was always a place for me in their home.  I remember the way his face would light up when he made my sister laugh, which would make him laugh harder. I have a deep respect for him and their marriage. They probably have no idea how closely I watched them, or how much I would model my own marriage after theirs.

Between these four men in my life, I had a check list of what I wanted in a husband: I wanted someone like my dad who would put me back together when I fell apart, who would always take the time to create memories with me. I wanted someone like my brother who always made me feel safe, and like my other brother who was never shy about letting me know he loved me and how proud he was of me. I wanted someone like my brother in law who would adore me, who would do anything to hear me laugh. More than anything else, I wanted someone who would do all of this not only for me, but for our children.

It was no easy task finding someone who fit the bill, but then I met Jim.

I don't get sappy about our relationship very often. It's not because I don't believe that Jim is my knight in shining armor...I just sort of have a reverence about him and our relationship, and for that reason I don't feel the need to publicize it very often. Today, however, I want to.

I remember the day I met Jim  at work, which is a story I'll dive into more detail at a later time. I had dated all types of guys up till then, but he was different. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get him out of my head. So I nurtured a close friendship with him. We used to live across the parking lot from each other, and I remember passively looking out the window to see if his car was in it's spot, always kicking myself later for even caring. I remember one time his car hadn't come home all night (as though he wasn't in it..haha!) and it was 2 o'clock in the morning. Panic ran through me as I tried to sleep that night, so much that I tossed and turned all night. I hated that I cared, but no matter how much I tried not to, I cared that much more. His car did come home at some point, by the way, and I can only assume it brought him with it.

I remember the day I realized he cared for me the same way. It happened so naturally that it barely seems like it happened at all. It was the usual phone call, "Hey, do you want to grab some Chinese Food with me?" That was the first night he took my hand in his. I remember because mine fit so perfectly in his. I realized he was everything I ever wanted, he was a little piece of all of the men in my life. We've been inseparable since. Six years of marriage and three kids later, the rest is history.

I won't say that marriage has been all peaches and roses. In fact, sometimes I wouldn't even give it the credit of lemons and dandelions. We've both come a long way in these 6 years, but one thing has always stayed the same. At the end of the day, and no matter how irritated we get with one another, I remember that his hand is the only one that mine fits perfectly in.

P.S. Leave Comments! How did you know that your significant other was "the one?"