I remember the day I met you, 14 years ago. We sat in desks lined in rows, our tiny bodies facing the front of a 6th-grade classroom. I didn’t know then, nor could I have, that I was sitting there with the boy who would become the man who would change my world.
Fast forward two years to a cold October evening. We sat together talking, awkwardly flirting, sharing cocoa, everything but watching the football game in front of us. I didn’t know then that my little 8th-grade heart was crushing on the last boy it ever would. And when you asked me to be your girlfriend, how would I ever have known that I would never say yes to anybody else ever again?
As we grew, there were plenty of bumps along the way, growing pains as we struggled to grow together, and not apart. There were times when I didn’t think we’d make it. Times when I didn’t think I wanted us to make it. But I thank God that we did, and I know deep down that we wouldn’t have without His hand in it all.
Time has obviously changed us; we’re not the same kids we were all those years ago. Although we’ve changed, we’re fortunate enough to still agree that we are better together—far better—than we’d ever be apart. And even through the everyday mundane tasks, parental exhaustion, financial pressures, and a slight coffee addiction on my part, we still choose each other every day.
So who knows, maybe true love can exist between a 13-year-old girl and boy. Or maybe we just got extremely lucky that we were meant to be. Either way, I don’t care, because I love our story. And I love that sitting here, 12 years from that cold October night, I can close my eyes and see you then: long hair, blue sweatshirt, baseball hat. I can feel the butterflies I remember feeling when I looked at you and felt your cold hand wrap around mine for the first time.
Because we grew up together, I have many memories, experiences, and life changes with you that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I remember you being there, just as excited as I was, when my brother was born. I remember holding you as you grieved the loss of your grandma. I remember moving to college together, and seeking your comfort when I was missing home. Graduations, first jobs, kids, all things I got to do with you.
So thank you, God, for the countless memories I have because we grew up together. Thank you, God, for giving me my best friend when you did. Thank you, God, for our story.
Twelve years is a long time, but not nearly long enough. Here’s to forever.