1.17.2011

How I Met Your Father


Otis Redding - Everclear


Dear Baby,

There's nothing that I love more than listening to my parents tell me stories about when they were younger or how they met -- even if it's a story I've heard so many times before that I have it memorized. I think these stories as a whole are important because they help those who weren't there (me) put together so many of the pieces of how life as we know it came to be.

On that note, I want you to know that I fell in love with your father on August 27th, 2001. I remember that day not only because it was the first day of school during my 10th grade year (your dad's 11th grade year) but because it was the first time that I ever saw his face. I was standing in front of Building 7 waiting for the bell to ring for my first period class (it was typing class). Five minutes before the bell, your father walked past me to get to his class (it was guitar class). He was wearing his school football jersey with khaki shorts, argyle socks to his knees (yes, really) and puffy black Vans. My friend, Meghan, knew his name because he had done a project last year with her brother. Back in those days, we didn't have Facebook or an easy way to e-stalk people (I can admit it! I was a creeper!). Instead, we had AOL profiles. I somehow found his and swooned with every Operation Ivy, Rancid and Bouncing Souls quote that lined his profile. I also found out that he played bass guitar in a local band. Your uncle Mike had a local record label at the time. It seemed only natural that I beg Mike to send an instant message to Aaron and ask if he could have one of their demo CDs. Your uncle Mike went to a different school, so he made it "coincidentally" work out that his cousin (that'd be me!) would pick up the CD for him before school one morning. I'm not usually a go-getter by any means but, Baby, I declared after the very first day of school that year that I had found the person that I was going to marry. You can imagine the reaction that got because I was only 15 years old at the time and everyone was quick to tell me that I didn't know what love meant and he certainly wouldn't be the person I would marry.

I'm not trying to deprive you of any details, but there really weren't any. For months I pined over your father while convinced he didn't have any feelings back for me. Thanks to your uncle Mike and his nifty record label trick, your father and I became friends. We'd talk before school and after school and, a lot of times, online or on the phone until the wee hours of the morning. For Christmas 2001, he gave me an Ataris CD and, let me tell you, Baby, I went to sleep listening to that CD for months until it was so worn out.

This is a photograph of us taken that Christmas after we exchanged gifts (I had gotten him a Volcom t-shirt):


On January 17th, 2002, Punxter36 (that's your dad! Yes, really!) sent KissMeImEmo12 (that'd be me!) and instant message with five simple words that'd change the course of life as I knew it: will you be my girlfriend? Baby, before you smack your dad for asking me out online, let me tell you that it was one of the biggest joys I'd ever experienced. Our first date was to see Stretching FM play at a local park. He was so nervous to even hold my hand and barely spoke two words the entire evening. It didn't matter, though, because I had confirmed everything that I already knew: he would be the person I would marry.

This is a photograph of your dad when he came to pick me up on our first date:


Baby, I got the most wonderful gift in the world: the chance to grow up alongside your father, the love of my life. I had the chance to experience sweet sixteens and driving tests and master's degrees and first mortgages with him. And, Baby, ever since we were kids together, he and I always wanted you.

When your dad had to go away to college (I was still a senior in high school), we went to this new park in Boca Raton that wasn't done being built yet. It was late in the evening and we laid down a blanket and watched the stars. "Tell me about your dreams," your dad had begged. I was admittedly a wreck those few months as talk of colleges and shipping off and long distance came to the front of my mind. We talked about our dreams for hours and, Baby, it all came down to one thing: you. After the selection of colleges, the courses signed up for, the silly details...we shared one common dream: having a family. There were sacrifices we were both willing to make and, Baby, I moved right up there with your dad as soon as I could -- despite the fact that Orlando and I share nothing in common at all other than a mutual hatred for one another. Each bad day that I had, I knew at the end of the day that we were making these sacrifices to bring ourselves closer to having you. Your father and I were never apart, we were never not together, starting nine years ago today. We never didn't love one another and, Baby, we never didn't love you.

On the 9 year anniversary that your dad and I have been together, I want you to know how much we always loved you. I want you to know how I met your father and what he will always mean to me. I want you to know the love that you were brought into and the love that will always surround you.

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