Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I love Jimmy

I was 13 years old the summer I met Jim. Every year, my friend Shannon and I would go to Sherbrooke Lake Camp, a church camp a few hours from home. That few hours away felt like a universe away when I was little, and that other world I got to live in for a couple weeks each year was every bit as important to me as my own home.
This particular year, I had dressed in my ultra-sexy stretch acid-wash jeans and one of my Metallica t-shirts on the day I arrived at camp. You want to make the best impression on the first day, you know. Shannon and I were walking toward the admissions area to check out who else had come since we'd found our cabin, and I noticed some boys hanging out on the step of one of the cabins to the right of us. Jim was one of those boys, and he loved my acid-wash jeans. Well, he loved my bum in them, anyway.
At 13, and having had the example of my parents relationship to go on (uh, not good), I was rather timid about the whole boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy thing. That's putting it mildly. So when another camper (a girl from Jim's hometown) informed me a couple days later that Jim liked me, I was rather afraid. At 15, Jim thought that tripping me at the washstands while everyone brushed their teeth was a charming way to say hi.
I did not.
He tried, people. He tried so hard to get close to me, but I had put a wall up as soon as I thought he may want something more from me than I was ready to give. He was relentless, though, and we quickly became friends. When we discovered that he lived only 20 minutes from us, Shannon and I vowed to keep in touch with him.
And we did! The three of us did everything together. We went to movies, ate pizza at the local pizza joints, laughed over...well, everyting. We had fun. For the next two years, we were friends, and we were happy. Well, Shannon and I were! Jim made it known quite frequently that his love for me had not diminished. That he was suffering without me. That even though he went out with other girls, he only really wanted me. I ignored his professions of love and continued on with life. I had boyfriends...nothing serious, of course (timid, remember?).
Then one night Jim called as he always called. But this time, he said he was thinking of asking Sandy out. Sandy went to my school, and somehow, that felt a little too close to home. I was bothered. I tried to pretend I wasn't bothered, but I so very deeply was.
Could it be that I loved this boy whose affections I had shunned without so much as a second thought for two years?
I talked to my best friend, and she encouraged me to do what every teenager with something important to say does: write a note. So I did. And I put it in my pocket, and I went up the street to see Shannon. Shannon, incidentally, consistently and tirelessly predicted from the start that Jim and I would end up together, married with kids someday.
When I got home that night, I dug in my pocket for the note. Not there. The note was not there. The note that professed my love. For Jim. Had fallen out of my pocket. At Shannon's house.
Desperate, I called Shannon and asked if she'd found it. She hadn't, but demanded I tell her what it was about. I did, and the rest is history.
The day after Jim and I became a couple (so you wanna go with me? Ok.), Jim called and told me that he had woken up that morning scared that it had all been a dream.
We've been through so much together, including teenage angst, my parent's divorce (and various other interesting events concerning my rather wacky family. Love you guys!), University, many, many jobs...and so many other things it would take forever to list them.
My life could so easily have been very different. You know that cycle of poverty everyone always talks about? Being with Jim made me see that I didn't have to continue it. I saw that I could do anything I wanted. Jim supported me through depression, through illness, through having various family members in the psych ward, through...everything. He is an amazing father. An amazing husband.
And one hell of a wonderful person.
I'm several days late, but I think I'll be forgiven, considering Jim was puking on his birthday.
Happy Birthday, sweetheart. I met you seventeen years ago. I am so thankful for that day. Thank you for being you, and for loving me, no matter what.
Good thing I wore those jeans, eh?

12 Comments:

At 5:42 PM, Blogger sblairc said...

This made me cry. You guys rule. Oh, stealing your teddy bear didn't really help his chances either eh?

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Tree said...

Hey Shannon. Wow, it means so much that the first comment is from you! YOU are such a big part of our past. We love you.
Haha I totally forgot he stole the teddy bear!
And remember I bit the olympic symbol onto his arm?
Ah, young love...retarded, isn't it?

 
At 6:05 PM, Anonymous treebobs said...

She did look mighty nice in those jeans! I love you boopie :)

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger mama_tulip said...

WOW. Seventeen years. You guys ROCK, along with summer camp, Metallica rock t's and acid wash jeans.

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger Margaret said...

Do you share the secret I've-known-you-for-more-than-half-your-life smiles?

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

AWWWWWWWWWWWWW !!!

That brought tears to my eyes !!!

I saw my hubby at 13 and thought he was the biggest nerd ever . We got together 13 years later.

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger MomToTracyNSheri said...

Awe! This is so cute. I'm going to go hug my hubby.

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger s@bd said...

OMGSH! How much do I wish I had met my husband way back in the day?!

And you wore Metallica to your CHURCH camp?! That's awesome.

Totally the sweetest story I've ever heard.

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Jo said...

Wow, I can't believe you guys have been together so long. I am in awe of a relationship that spans so many years. I fear I would have had no love for Steve had I known him as a teenager!

Jo

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger moxiemomma said...

omg, this is so sweet it should almost be illegal! what a gift to be raising your children with someone you know so incredibly well.

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger Tink said...

You can't tell me there's no such thing as "Soul Mates." You guys prove there is. Wonderful story!

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Jennboree said...

What an awesome love story!

Still have that t-shirt?

 

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