Sixteen years ago, we weren’t much older than sixteen. There weren’t iPhones yet and Instagram didn’t exist. So instead of “sliding into your DMs,” I slipped you paper notes and walked you to class. We were inseparable in those early days – like cookie butter and ice cream, our version of peas and carrots. I told you I loved you within months and that I wanted to marry you. If people knew, they would’ve thought I was crazy. But, to me, the crazy ones were all the other guys who walked past a winning lottery ticket and didn’t pick it up.
At prom, we danced the night away like Jack and Rose in steerage. Free, light and alive –– without a care in the whole wide world. Then things got hard. We graduated high school that spring, and I went away to college that fall. I cried a lifetime of tears that semester. How could I not? The half that makes me whole was missing. From the moment I left your driveway, I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life; so I spent every penny I had on flights back and forth for weekend dates. “Where your treasure is, your heart is also,” Scripture says. And you, Amy Demos, are mine. As they say in the South (our new home) we fixed that problem right quick. I came back at Christmas, we did college together and got married a month after graduation.
We danced the night away, just like we had four years before, and started our new life together in our small condo. We didn’t have much in those early days, but in all the ways that mattered, we were rich. We taught elementary school and built a photography business. We traveled and slept in. Then God blessed us with the greatest gift of all: our children.
I thought being married to you was the privilege of a lifetime, but having a front row seat to your motherhood, I can say without hesitation, the only thing better than getting to be loved by you, is getting to be part you *and* loved by you, from the very start. One day, I hope our kids know just how blessed they are that God chose you to be their mom. Most of their good things, they get from you. But their good luck? They get that from me.
Happy 12th, my love.