Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day

In honor of this romantic day I want to take a trip down memory lane, through some of the happy memories of my relationship with my husband...

When I first met my husband, before we were a couple, I used to ride around in his car with other friends. They were like "The Fast and the Furious" ten years before the movie even came out. I would sit in the back seat and make eye contact with him in the rear veiw mirror. I wasn't sure if he was actually looking at me or not, but years later when I asked him, I found out he was. The way his hand gripped the gear shift really turned me on.

Technically I was dating his friend at first. Not that I really had a choice about it. The group of friends just "decided" who would get to date me. But as I hung out with all of them I fell in love with Timmy. My heart broke with desire for him. I didn't know that his did for me too. Finally one day he called me. We proclaimed our love. I broke up with his friend and that night we met for our first secret rondevous. We sat in his convertable, he opened the hood and we looked at the stars together. For the first time we could touch each other (no, we didn't do anything bad). Just touching each other was electrifying after weeks of desire.

Two months later he was in a serious car accident. The convertible had flipped going a hundred miles an hour. (His friend was driving). They weren't wearing seat belts. It's a miracle they survived. Timmy called me that night from home, bruised, bloody, and scared. He said he needed me. Outside a noreastern blew snow a foot deep. My parents said that they wouldn't drive me and I could not go (I was home for Christmas break from college). I knew I had to. So I left in the middle of the night. Walking miles and miles, taking buses and trains, walking more miles. Finally arriving. His mother happened to be looking out the window as I walked up. She was happy to see me. She knew her son needed me. I took care of him. Then I was grounded for a month (the rest of vacation).

One rare occasion we went dancing at the local Asian club. It was dreamy - like a movie. Timmy got the band to sing a song with my name in it. We danced all night. We were the life of the party. It was so much fun. And at the end of the night there was a fight outside. Timmy sat me and his friend's girl at a table with an older man "to protect us" or keep us company - while the men handled the business of the fight. I know, it sounds corny, but I was attracted to the bad boy. That was the type of adventure that excited me. Once he was stabbed in a fight. The Florance Nightengale effect made me fall in love even more so.

Timmy taught me how to cook and how to share (white people can be so stingy). He showed me that he would take care of me by the way he took care of his mother. He bought me clothes. He took me out. He showed me a good time. He made me feel beautiful.

That spring - six months into our relationship he was in another serious car accident. This time he was driving. He was on his way to pick me up for a date. The car spinned out of control throwing him out the drivers side window. It was another miracle that he survived. A man pulled over to help him. We think it was an angel. The man spoke Khmer. He called Timmy's mother (in Khmer) and then he called me (in English) to tell us what had happened. I got a ride to the hospital and spent the evening with him in the emergency room while they treated him. He had a bruised kidney. I wanted to stay. My father (who had driven me) said I had to go back to college because the fourth quarter started the next day. When he dropped me off at the college I immediately got a ride back to the hospital where I stayed with Timmy for three days. I slept on a chair next to his bed - but never fully sleeping - constantly opening my eyes to see that he was breathing.

I began to fear that the love of my life would die. I wanted a peice of him to hold forever, so it wasn't a huge surprise (though also not planned) when I got pregnant. I remember taking the pregnancy test in his bathroom. The first one was one and a half lines. I knew that meant I was pregant. He wasn't convinced. The next test was a full two lines. He couldn't deny it any more. He sent his friend to the store to buy me some Pepto Bismal because I was already feeling sick. Later in the pregnancy he had to take me to the hospital because I had a strange severe pain (never really diagnosed). This time it was his turn to sit next to my bed and care for me. He bought me a teddy bear that I still have.

When I gave birth to Brandon he was there with me and as supportive as a father should be. He let me dig my nails in his chest. He held my leg when I pushed. He cut the umbilical cord. In the postpartum unit he played soft music on CD's and he showed his new baby off to his family. We always laugh when we remember leaving the hospital - how surprised the nurse must have been to see this young father pull up in his new Camaro convertable. Timmy just had it custom painted this amazing reflective green color. It was totally decked out. Yes, Brandon went home in style.

I lived with my parents the first six months because Timmy and I weren't married yet. Timmy came over pretty much every day though and helped me to care for his baby boy. Finally, September 6th we tied the knot in a garden in Arlington in front of friends and family. I remember walking down the isle at the end of the ceremony and holding his hand and we were both thinking the same thing - we did it. It's you and me against the world now. Our honeymoon was a trip to near-by Canoby Lake park. Ha ha. We didn't have extra money for a fancy trip and we didn't want to leave the baby anyway. I remember eating dinner at a sub shop across the street. I remember trying to evade the bees while we ate. I remember that he didn't want to go on the Pirate ship with me so I waved as I rode it myself. It was fun.

I remember when he showed me our first apartment. It was night and there was no electricity so it was hard to see. It was small. It was dingy. But it was all ours. I loved it.

One of our favorite memories was when he worked a six week job in Maine and I visited him one weekend with the baby. We stayed in his motel room. We had a romantic meal at a seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean. Then we drove to a secluded ocean front and walked around. As we stood out there a bevy of swans walked by.

I don't have time to continue in such detail, but some of my other favorite memories include... the baby shower he threw me for Dimitri, the night that Dimitri was born,every one of our Christmas' together, the day we moved to Townsend, the day we bought this house, our pig roasting feast to celebrate, and all the regular old day to day interactions that make me love my husband even more, including the way he has been really supportive of me as I go to school and work.



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