I noticed you in sixth grade and kept my eye on you all year. I admit, I was the geeky sixth grader with short hair to my ears with bangs and braces that you could see from miles away. You probably did notice me, but not for the right reasons. I would be the odd duck trying to get a glimpse of you before you walked into your class before hurrying off to my own. Lucky for me, we had the same circle of friends and had been invited to a back to school dance. I remember it being a normal pre-teen party with boys on one side while the girls snicker in the corner of the other. Chairs lined around the dance floor, although they stayed empty most of the time. Late 1990’s songs filled the speakers as everyone stood around talking. The Macarena played and we all came together and lined the dance floor doing the moves. Sweating and out of breath from dancing and laughing, we all made a bee line to the ice chest that held the drinks. A few more songs play as the girls started to mingle a little more with the boys. Out of nowhere I feel my hand being grabbed and led. I noticed it was you. The one whom I've had my eye on the entire sixth grade year. You didn’t say a word just kept walking hand in hand. You stopped at one of the chairs that lined around the dance floor to take a seat. You turned me around from facing you and sat me on your leg with my legs inside of yours. Your sweet gentle smile could brighten anyones cloudy day. You smiled and without hesitation asked me, "will you go with me?" I quickly said yes, not really knowing what I was saying yes to. You grabbed me and hugged me. For the longest time and still to this day, I think the only reason you came up to me that day, was because of everyone telling you to, not because you wanted to. I'll never know the honest truth. I didn't know you other than your name, and you didn't know me. Yet, we were 'dating'. We danced, not talking much. We didn't know what to talk about other than school and what was going on with our friends. The party had ended and the parents came to pick everyone up. The following week was school. I remember being excited and ready, especially because we weren’t the youngest class of the school. Each day of the week we would talk to each other whether it be in person or on the phone. We got to know each other little by little. Some things we didn't like, some things we loved. We would spend hours on the phones. When we would hang up, mostly when I was told it was time for bed, I can remember my ear constantly being hot and red from being pressed up against the phone. Sometimes we didn't even speak, we would just sit and be together, as weird as that may sound now. Seventh grade went just as fast as it came. We kept in touch the following summers, spending time at the city pool and doing little things like going to the movies. I remember ninth grade being one of the hardest times in my life. Having to tell you goodbye, not knowing if I’d see you again or when, absolutely broke my heart. Half way through the school year, I remember my phone ringing in my room. Like any other day, I answered it not knowing who was on the other end of the line before hearing your voice speak. My heart had never been so happy and excited to hear your words ‘Lindsey, do you know who this is?’ How could I not know. It was a muffled call, as pay phones weren’t that great all the time. But I’ll never forget when you told me that your dad was going to get you from New Bruanfuls and bring you home to visit family and while you were there, we’d plan to the movies on a date. I know you left against your will, and it wasn’t easy for you either. From that moment on, when we saw each other, we knew that nothing would ever get in our way, no matter the problems we’d face. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we knew we would be worth it. Fast forward eight years when we got to stand side by side, just you and I, barefoot in the sand in Maui, Hawaii. I had my prince and my wedding dress .. and that's all that mattered. Marrying you has been one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced. Through the ups, downs and in betweens, I’d do it all over again. This year, we celebrate 21 years together and 13 years of marriage alongside our two crazy, wild, beautiful children. I love you more every day. Life has been so fun with you. Little did we know that attending a seventh grade back to school party would be a dance that would last our entire lifetime.
Here’s to more days filled with many more kisses.
I love you forever, I love you for always.