There’s a curb on the left-hand side of our house underneath the widespread branches of the towering oak tree.
It’s so unimpressive that you might miss it if you walked by the house and blinked.
None of this—this blog—this family—this life—this love would be possible without that curb.
It’s where every chapter of this story started.
Before there were ever Lee Press-On Nails and over-cooked pancakes and a little band called Rush and hearts that sing. And after all these years when I walk by that curb on my way to the mail or the sidewalk or the driveway or the backyard…
….I still get goosebumps.
The kind of goosebumps that make me want to pinch myself and count my blessings and dance the Macarena and sing the Hallelujah Chorus on my tiptoes from the balcony of the Empire State Building.
Because that is where everything started.
Right there on the edge of an ordinary curb.
It was our first date.
I greeted him at the back door with red lipstick, an add-a-bead necklace, 4″ high bangs sprayed with Aqua Net hairspray, a prairie skirt, and a sweater vest covered in bows.
I think I might have even had on high-heeled shoes and socks with my name written on them with dotted letters scribed with a paint pen.
At the risk of stating the obvious……
…I looked amazing.
He wasn’t a big talker.
A man of very few words.
Maybe he was shy.
Maybe he was nervous.
Maybe he was intimidated by the socks.
I didn’t care.
He was cute with dimples and brown wavy hair and big brown eyes that kind of looked like Johnny Depp and he had his own car. You know. All the really important things in life.
And besides, I thought, I’m a talker. I could talk enough for both of us.
We went to church and then we drove around looking at Christmas lights.
And as we drove under the twinkling arches and swagged greenery, I talked.
I told him how cute the animated Santa Claus were with their lighted banjos as they danced next to the seven dwarfs.
He said nothing.
I exclaimed with enthusiastic joy over the teddy bears sitting in the train and how cute Kermit the Frog was as the conductor.
He said nothing.
I mentioned that it was amazing that a single yard could hold a merry-go-round, a nativity, Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer and a giant 7-foot Barney all at the exact same time.
He said nothing.
I laughed and talked and sang every Christmas carol I knew and took my mittens on and off and nervously stared out the window and kept up a one-way conversation for the entire drive while he sat stoically in the driver’s seat…..
…..saying absolutely positively nothing.
I was done.
I thought he didn’t like me.
I thought I bored him.
I thought to myself despairingly, “when will this date ever be over?”
And when we pulled up to my parent’s house.
(total aside: right there at the exact house we bought back from my parents on the EXACT CURB I walk by every single day.)
But back then?
I had enough of my own conversation.
I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. I hurriedly mumbled something about what a great time that I had and turned to leave. And just as I started to open the door he reached for my hand.
I stopped and stared at him.
And he stared at me.
It was completely quiet in the car. No one said a word.
And then in the hush of that moment, in the silence of the car, in the quietest of voices, he whispered, “What if I kissed you?”
Wide-eyed, I nodded.
And right there sitting in a car pulled up to an ordinary curb in front of my parent’s house wearing red lipstick and a prairie skirt and a sweater vest with bows…..
….I got the kiss of a lifetime.
I never looked back.
And even now, after all these years he can look at me from across the room with those twinkling eyes and smiling dimples—with that look that is just for me—-and I still get goosebumps.
And then I count my blessings that this sweet, wonderful, incredible, brown-eyed man…..
……finally found his voice. 🙂
PS Here’s the best picture I had of the sidewalk and the curb from the story. I read this post to my husband and he informed me that he didn’t really talk because I neglected to bring up something really interesting like “the unsolved mystery of Bigfoot.”
Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂