Today is the 8-year anniversary of my first date with my husband — a cute guy that I met in a bar on a cool December night.
I love that we celebrate the anniversary of our first date (along with our wedding anniversary, of course). I love thinking of the butterflies in my stomach when he first pulled up to my apartment in his old red mustang. I love remembering our first-date conversation — how much we had to learn about each other — the feeling of figuring out if this is something that might “work.”
I love thinking about where we first began because it makes me so grateful for how far we’ve come. For the journey of life and love and growth. For God’s hands holding ours all along the way.
It’s what life is made of, I think. It starts with dreams and doodles and first kisses — and soon, those same strong arms that had me smitten are holding babies and moving boxes and a pregnant wife.
Those same blue eyes that lit up the table of our first date are the ones that confidently said, “I do” at our wedding. That filled with tears at our children’s births. That tiredly gaze at me from across the bed on late nights with babies who won’t sleep.
We are so much the same couple as we were on that first date — and yet also so different — having grown side by side, hand in hand, heart in heart, becoming more the “one flesh” that my mother-in-law read about when she read the scripture verse at our wedding:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
I’m learning that becoming “one” is truly a sequence of many — the little and big events that knead our hearts like bread dough into something new, something better. From the dramatic dip at the end of our first wedding dance to the renovations of our first home, the anticipation of the birth of our first child to the announcement of a Down syndrome diagnosis. Every belly laugh, every rolling tear, every dream, every accomplishment — we grow closer together.
That old red mustang that we drove on our first date doesn’t run anymore — and the restaurant where we had our first date sadly no longer exists. But those are but details in a bigger plan that I am convinced were in place long before I met him that December.
A plan where two, lovestruck kids happened to bump into each other at a bar, exchange smiles and a phone number — and then agree to celebrate the thrill and joy of that first date over and over again, “as long as we both shall live.”