He was just trying to be funny–I doubt he ever thought I’d leave it there.  On our vacation, we picked up an old high school football picture of Mike. The kids, who hadn’t seen us all week, greeted us at their grandparent’s door after our 16-hour car ride, presenting us with the one-piece, slanted resin frame, circa 1985, and the image of their Daddy, dressed up in his Red Devil pads and uniform.  Of course I thought it was cute, but dismissed it pretty quickly so that I could finally fall into a long-awaited, soft bed.

A week later on the night we arrived home, we hustled and bustled to get the house in some kind of decent shape before calling it a night. While Mike unpacked, I cleaned up the kitchen and did laundry.  Eventually, I went to bed, and on my nightstand was this:

This kid wore shaggy, grungy (before grunge was cool, if you ask Mike) clothes and duct-tapped Chuck Taylor’s.  He chewed Trident gum and drove a butter yellow Jeep. His hair was kind of long and curly when it wasn’t football season and he picked me up many mornings to drive me to school.  (I have to admit, I always thought he was cute, but riding in that Jeep was a turn-on for sure.) He was then, and is now, a good guy. When this picture was taken, we were friends. It would be many years before we were anything more.

I know he meant the picture as a joke and I did laugh out loud.  I’m a photo person and they’re everywhere in this house, but this one on my nightstand–my teenage husband sitting there for me to ogle over– is just too good.  I regularly pick up the cheap frame and stare hard at the BOY in the picture.  He still looks exactly the same to me of course (aside from the grey and the goatee), but it amazes me that so much time has passed. In those days, we were both ‘going with’ someone else–I think that’s what we called it–and could have never had the foresight to imagine the life that would unfold between us.

When I ponder what’s become of us and then glance at the photo that still sits on my bedside weeks later, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And although life has its struggles, we’ll always make it through.  In a couple of months, we’ll celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. (CRAZY.) And I just got a new picture of my boyfriend next to my bed.

If you ask me, that’s perfect timing.

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