When I started college, I had no intention of ever getting married or having children. I had it all figured out: my hat would hang on my career; my sister would have a team of kids that I’d be the world’s best auntie to; I’d date but live alone so I could spend most nights with a book and nice glass of chardonnay I could afford because of my big job and the fact that I had no dependents. After I retired relatively young, I’d write books and people would say, “She’s an interesting, strong woman. She’s never needed anybody to be happy.”
At the time I considered myself ambitious, but I now appreciate that vision was born out of fear. In my core I felt unlovable; not generally, but in the way that results in a guy wanting to spend the rest of his life with you. I didn’t like to cuddle. I wasn’t going to laugh at a joke that wasn’t funny or wear shoes I found uncomfortable. I took those traits to mean I wasn’t maternal or marriage material, and I’d come to peace with that.
Then I met Kevin. The very first time we spoke I had an inkling my plans were being disrupted. He showed up when he said he would, and behaved the same way in private that he did in front of his friends. He was comfortable with himself. He was patient. He could be trusted. And he found the life plan I’d plotted limiting. “Why not have it all?” he asked. When I told him I didn’t want to disappoint people he said, “By reading books? I think we could get past that.”
My family was in awe of this man with the superpower to disarm me. To make me think about what I really wanted instead of avoid anything that might result in failure. He quickly earned the name “Kevin from Heaven.” (I’m pretty sure if things ever sour between us they’ll side with him.)
Five years after we met, which was twelve years ago now, he got down on one knee and I leapt out of the future I’d assumed would be mine and into a future we create every day together. Sometimes he’s decidedly not Kevin from Heaven, and sometimes my reading and other habitudes do get in the way, but I adore having a consistent, patient, hilarious partner to tackle life with. And our kids. Oh man. I’d be a shell of myself without them.
People change. Goals change. Plans change. At least, if you’re lucky they do. Leap away! I’d be so sad in this house all alone.
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