Written By: Leslie Means
“You look handsome,” I beamed to Kyle as he picked me up for our Friday night date.
In the back of my mind I knew – or at least secretly hoped, tonight would be the big night.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked.
He smiled and started driving north.
Moments later we arrived at the local vineyard. It was a gorgeous crisp, late spring evening. We sampled various flavors until we finally settled on the perfect bottle.
“Let’s take this to the top of that hill,” Kyle said.
We walked, hand in hand for several minutes until we reached the top. Upon arrival I found a table set with flowers, candles and my favorite foods. There was also a note written in a black binder. Kyle picked it up and began to read.
“Sometimes love comes quietly. For her and I, that quiet love has developed into a feeling so true,” he stated.
“This is it,” I thought, beaming with excitement. “I know Kyle is going to propose at the end of this story.” I was giddy with emotion. It was a perfect night, with a perfect view and the perfect guy.
“There is no doubt in my mind that I have finally found the love of a lifetime,” Kyle said closing the book he had just written to me. Then he got down on one knee and asked the question so many girls wait for their entire lives.
“Will you marry me, Leslie?”
I held his hand in mine, looked up into his gorgeous blue eyes and said,
“Did you ask my dad?”
9 years later, I realize that is probably not the first thing a guy wants to hear out of his girls mouth seconds after a marriage proposal. Fortunately for Kyle he responded with a, “yes, Les, I did.”
To which I responded, “of course, I will marry you.”
Later I learned Kyle made the trip from Lincoln to my parent’s farm near Bladen on a whim, simply to ask my dad for my hand in marriage. At that point I knew Kyle was a keeper.
In the 30 years I’ve known my father, not once have I heard him raise his voice. Not once. He’s soft spoken, (unlike his youngest daughter) patient, considerate, private, hardworking and incredibly kind. He probably doesn’t realize how high he set the bar for me during my quest to find the perfect man.
“What made you choose Kyle?” dad asked a few months after the proposal.
Embarrassed and surprised by the question I responded, “I don’t know. I guess I just knew he was the right one.”
Even though my heart wanted to say, “I chose Kyle because he’s just like you, dad. For years I had been searching for a man with the same qualities. That’s how I knew he was the one.”
Watching Kyle with our girls solidifies the decision I made 9 years ago. When he walks in the door they run to him, excited for his attention. They ask him to read stories each night and tuck them into bed. They want their daddy to play outside and take them for ice cream. In their mind, he can do no wrong. I’m fairly certain if you would ask, they would say Daddy is their favorite.
And that’s OK. In fact, I think it’s pretty much perfect. I want my girls to have very high standards when they begin to date. And someday when the time comes for them to make one of the biggest decisions in their lives, I hope they say,
“Did you ask my dad?”
If the guy responds with an, “of course I did,” there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be a keeper too.
Happy Father’s Day week to my two favorite guys!
I don’t know how I got so lucky.
Read more columns from Leslie in the Kearney Hub.
My dad, Keith – swings with my girls.