18.9.15

nineteen babe.

I skipped washing my hair the night before. I remember thinking I'd wash it in the morning.
That never happened.

Oh the paranoia of really noticable oily hair! I went through at least five outfits until I found the right one. I should've packed a sweater; it was cold.

I drove to your house and turned my preppy playlist to obnoxious noise levels. My stomach was all butterflies. I hoped my acne wasn't too noticeable and bemoaned my oily hair. Ugh. Just drive.

I always hated parking at your house, because I never knew where to park. But when I arrived, you had pulled your car onto the lawn and left me a spot. Phew.

You came out the door smiling, wearing a batman shirt and sporting the DIY haircut you gave yourself. I remember wishing you happy birthday, sheepishly holding the dinky gift I had managed to pull together last-second. (praying the whole time you wouldn't open it in front of everyone. you did.)

I sat rigid in the front seat with your parents in the back, getting absolutely car-sick on the back-roads (your driving was really bad that day.) We had to get pizza because the other place was too crowded, remember? I think I had to help make the decision for pizza, and that stressed me out (do your parents like pizza? do they like me?)

We waited even longer for pizza. You made me get up and get salad (even though I didn't want to.) I self-consciously tried so hard not to brush back my oily hair and be a slob with my salad. The pizza was good; it was ranch.

I don't remember what we talked about, but I remember frantically grabbing your hand under the table for support...and probably to let you know that I was losing my marbles for you. Three squeezes: one, two, three. Our second code for, "I love you!"

We got permission to walk down by the river. I really regretted not bringing a sweater. But it was okay, of course, because you were right there and put your arms around me while my teeth chattered. Um, your breath really smelled like that ranch pizza. It was slightly nauseating, to be honest. I found it a little awkward. Probably more awkward that you didn't understand why I kept giving you sheepish-sickly smiles.

We watched the creepy fisherman across the water, while almost tipping the dock over (that would've been cold!) We would pause and sigh, knowing that this (really awesome!) night would be over so fast, and we'd have say goodbye.
Babe. We said so many goodbyes.

We had such crazy emotional hearts and so many uncertainties. Relationships are so weirdly confusing and heartbreaking. It was a silly dream then - a brand new eighteen-year-old and seventeen-year-old sitting on a dock, hoping for a bright future.

But it was a good birthday, and you had a crazy year.

You were such a little boy still. That was before you moved out and cried alone in the dark. That was before you worked like crazy to prove your manhood. That was before you worked twelve hour shifts and cut all your fingers to the bone, but still managed to see me in the evenings with three hours of sleep.

This year, your barking dog alarm will go off at 5:15. We'll both sit there until 5:30 pretending the snooze button doesn't work (it does.) I might make you breakfast, if I'm not lazy. I probably forgot to wash your work pants, so you might have to dig them out of the laundry. You'll get up eventually, and I'll make you late for work because I don't want you to leave. But you do. You have to. You cup my chin and promise you'll drive safe and come back at a decent hour.

You leave for work.
You leave another year behind.
You're nineteen today. Such a baby in so many people's brains. Most nineteen-year-olds don't worry about paychecks and buying their wives chocolate because they're on an emotional-melt-down week.
But you do. Because you're a man, and a good husband. Even if you're completely new to that trade.
Today is special, even though it's just the normal schedule. You're starting a new year that's going to shape you into the amazing man I keep discovering every day. Except this year, I get to be with you all the way - through all the crazy ups and downs and oopsies life has to throw at you.
So chin up, and walk out that door.
It's gonna be a good year.

3 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing those memories and that sweet, precious tribute to the man in your life on his birthday. Thankful for you both. Happy Birthday, Aidan!

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  2. Lots of "awes" from this side of the screen. ♥

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  3. Awww, Bethany! It's so sweet!!!

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Maira Gall