Dating with children
Romantic notions were set aside as I threw up day and night for five months straight.
I wore cotton maternity dresses that fit like burlap sacks.
But I knew that even if nothing changed, he was the man I wanted to marry.
He proposed a few months later, on his knees, with a beautiful diamond ring.
We’d set up our tent in a flat area that turned out to be the base of a seasonal creek, turned to a pond in the storm. He replied with the most romantic thing he’s ever said to me: “This is my bucket list,” he said.
I laughed until my stomach hurt as my husband moved the tent to higher ground.
I could barely walk up the stairs, much less dance, and the smell of flowers made me sick.
Our four kids worked together to pitch their tent, and we pitched ours. When the hail stopped, I unzipped the tent to start dinner, and stepped into a puddle a foot deep.
I remember telling my mother about the party; when she asked me if he could be the one. I invited him to join my family reunion in Hawaii at Thanksgiving. Everyone in the family loved him, and so did I, by then, but something told me I should hold off telling him so until he told me, first.
He wasn’t the kind of man to rush into wild romantic gestures and proclamations.
My husband has always wanted to take our kids backcountry camping, so last summer, he planned a trip.
Our kids were 17, 15, 13 and 10 at the time, busy with summer camps and jobs, so the only days we all had free overlapped with our twentieth wedding anniversary.