Ugh. Here goes nothing.
I wish my dreams were as amazing as SMs
First we had the playground.
So high on the swings.
Bicycles and popsicles.
Water guns and hot, shoeless feet.
Summers were the best time of your life when school was out and the start of third grade was months away. We'd get all hot and sweaty playing kick the can or tag, so we'd hop on our bikes and head down to the mini mart for popsicles, wishing the fire hydrant was open so we could cool off. Legs off our pedals as we passed the cemetery. "Weeeeeeee!", down the hill.
On our way home, we'd always stop by the park and hope the swings were free. I'd scream at the top of my lungs, "I can go higher than you," laughing as he tried to keep up. I was always the first one to go over the top bar. How I loved to fly. He could never keep up. It helped that I was two inches taller than him. He didn't realize that though, silly boy.
Baseball games, campfires, tents, s'mores.
Staying up all night.
I held his hand when he was scared.
Our little-league team, the Pirates, took home the pennant that year. With me as catcher and him as pitcher, we were a team to be reckoned with. No one could beat us. After each game, win or lose, we would sleep out in the back of his house in the big old smelly camper or at my house in my pup tent. We'd stay up all night long, telling ghost stories and sharing s'mores that we would cook in the microwave. We weren't allowed to build a real fire, but that wasn't going to stop us from making and eating that gooey mess. I'd always wake up in the middle of the night needing to pee and find him holding my hand 'cause he was afraid of the boogey man. He figured that as long as we were connected, we'd be able to fight off the bad guys as a team, silly boy.
Popcorn and soda.
I think he touched my hand.
Drivers ed. Ugh, I suck.
Sweet sixteen and never been kissed. I was okay with that because I had something better: a best friend and freedom in the shape of a little plastic card. He got his license first. Mine didn't come so easily, though. I failed - TWICE! Not my most shining moment, especially when I had to beg him not to tell anyone. Who knew that parallel parking would be so hard? When we both had our license, we'd take trips down to the beach - one of us driving there, the other back home. By then he was taller than me, a lot taller, so there was lots of seat and mirror adjusting, but we never complained. It was just who we were.
When we weren't at the beach or simply driving around, we'd go to the movies. I think we saw every film that came out that year. Sitting in the dark beside him, our legs touched. Sharing popcorn, our fingers touched. His long legs stretched out, our feet touched. Throughout the movie we'd throw popcorn at our friends and then we'd talk about our favorite parts on the way home. He'd always let me go first and then say that was his favorite part too, silly boy.
Studying, High School, Cars.
First date, second date, third.
Holding hands, stealing glances.
First kiss, second kiss, third.
High school, blech. The only thing that saved me during that time was him. Why were girls always so nasty to each other? Talking behind backs, snickers and shoves in the locker room, mean looks during class. They all wanted him. I figured that out eventually. I also figured out that he only ever wanted me. Took me awhile to realize it, but when I did, I didn't mind high school so much.
He asked me out on my seventeenth birthday. Best present ever! We went to the meadow where we used to play as kids and had a picnic. We sat beside each other and shared the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches he made and the brownies his mom baked. For our second date, we went to the batting cages. After, we held hands as we ate ice cream and walked along the beach. On our third date, he took me to a fancy restaurant. We ate by candlelight and played footsies under the table. When he left me at my door that night, I was no longer a girl who had never been kissed. He told me he wanted to ask me out years ago but was too nervous that I'd turn him down. How could he have ever thought that, silly boy.
Cap and gown and
Pretty prom dresses.
Moments stolen in the night.
I was so worried about our graduation. I was certain that I would trip when I walked across the stage. He talked to me for the entire ceremony and distracted me from what was going on, just like I needed, just like he knew I did. We talked about how uncomfortable we all looked in the horrid polyester and bright yellow, caps and gowns. We talked about the college we were going to together, him on a baseball scholarship and me on my merits. We talked about him sneaking into my room at night; lucky for him the tree outside my window made it an easy trip. We were excited about how once we were in a dorm room, how much easier the sneaking would be.
We talked about our prom which occurred the week before. Where he told me he loved me for the thousandth time, where he fully undressed me and made love to me for the first and second time. Where we made promises for our future, for our hopes for always and where he drew a ring on my finger, one that would be replaced with a diamond one day soon he said, silly boy.
I found out the hard way that freedom isn't always a good thing. Freedom sometimes is too much, especially when it's accompanied by beer and stupid boys. And pretty girls who only care about themselves. He swore that she kissed him. He pushed her away he said. Her friend posted it online though. That one second. Captured forever. For all to see. Even me.
He broke my heart, silly boy.
Chocolates and hearts.
He stood outside my dorm room. For days, for weeks. Every night he was there. He'd whisper to my door he was sorry, saying he loved me, saying good night. I ate ice cream and cried. I believed him, but it still hurt. He threatened to quit the team. I never saw him with the other players, and he'd been spending so much time with them before. He cried and begged me to talk to him, but I couldn't. I missed him so much. I just didn't know how to get over it: the hurt and humiliation.
Valentine's Day came. It was never one of my favorite holidays, kinda silly I always felt, but he loved it. The displays of love, the chocolate, the cards. Even as a boy he always made me a special card each year. I shouldn't have been surprised when I saw it. But I was. Maybe that made it even more special? He dressed in a tux and showed up at my Intro to Psych class with a huge card and the biggest box of chocolates I'd ever seen. In front of the entire class, he declared his love for me and begged for my forgiveness. I put a pic of him online right after I smothered him in kisses and told him I forgave him. How could he think I'd walk away forever, silly boy.
Tests, reviews, finals.
Pomp and circumstance.
The final days of college were exhausting. Balancing writing our finals and job interviews at the same time was challenging. Finding time to be together, even more so. But my boy and I did what we needed to do: early get-togethers for breakfast, late night snacks sneaked into the library. Stolen kisses and more under the covers in the middle of the night. We thought that finding a job in the same city was going to be hard, but we were fortunate to find ones that we were both excited about. Our families were thrilled that we would be moving back home. That was something we both wanted as well, and couldn't believe it was actually happening.
Our convocations weren't together that time since we were in different Faculties; him in Engineering and me in Arts and Science. I still worried about tripping and missed his words while I sat waiting to receive my diploma, but the memories of the past years and thinking about what was ahead were enough to keep me distracted, especially when I thought of the way we celebrated his diploma the night before. He had become very talented with his tongue, and his fingers had become so strong with all of the baseball he'd played. How nimble they were too. And long. And pleasurable. And I almost missed my name being called by the Dean. Even from a distance he knew how to please me, silly boy.
Loud neighbors next door.
High heels and meetings.
Popsicles and swings.
People cook some weird-smelling food. Maybe it's all the aromas merging into one that smelled so bad, but coming home to our apartment each day, I was hit with some really awful scents. I wished I could find them appealing but never did. That wasn't the only drawback to apartment living. I thought living in the dorms was bad for lack of privacy, but we had some seriously nosy neighbors and some loud ones too. I didn't realize how hard it would be setting up my class plans, mostly late at night, and having to block out the sound effects from the television in the apartment next door to ours. That quickly led to some creative saving on our part for a better place to live. All our pennies went into our savings, but that was okay. We liked pb&j, and turning down the heat at night only meant more cuddling to stay warm.
And for entertainment, we had the great outdoors. We'd ride our bikes and go for walks. One time we even went to our old park in our parents' neighborhood. We went down the slide, and when I got on a swing, he got on one knee. Marry me, he said. Love me always, be mine forever, and I will do the same if you are my wife. And then he gave me the most beautiful ring: with two sapphire hearts and a beautiful diamond in between. He must have been really pinching his pennies, but then he told me he'd been saving for it since he was ten, silly boy.
Everyone has an opinion.
Vegas looking good.
A walk down the aisle.
I do, I do.
If we hadn't promised our moms, I think we would have gone to Vegas to get married. I didn't want a veil, I didn't want a lot of strangers watching me on our special day, and I most definitely did not want anyone to go into debt to pay for it. Our parents had other opinions on that, though! I tried not to scream and yell too much at anyone; sometimes I felt like the only sane one in the room when discussions about ourbig day would occur. I did get my way though, all because he agreed with me and stood beside me when the convincing and reminding needed to occur.
The day was beautiful. I felt beautiful, and he was spectacular. The part I remember most vividly was the - Do you, Edward? Do you, Bella? It felt as if time stood still when I heard his yesand said my own; probably the simplest sentences ever spoken by us, but the most meaningful. We danced under the stars and mingled with our guests. The speeches were touching, and seeing my dad cry started my tears too. When they played our song, he took me by my hand and spun me around. He looked into my eyes, smiled at me and promised to love me for eternity, silly boy.
Keys to our home.
Peeing on a stick.
Tiny little bundles.
I'm going to be sick.
As soon as we got the keys to our first home, our first house, we were right in there; painting and cleaning. Making it our own. We were so happy to be out of that stinky apartment. Decorating and making everything perfect was so much fun. We'd turn on some music and sing along as we painted, talking about what we most looked forward to living in our new abode. We had a backyard, quiet neighbors, and nothing smelly to come home to. Occasionally, there were some stinky socks or baseball gear lying around, but it was our smell; I didn't mind it one bit. Well, until one day I did…mind.
Everything made me nauseated, and I had no energy. A lot of children in my class had had the flu, and I was certain that I did too. Until they all got better and I was still run down. It was my mother leaving me a pregnancy test one day after she'd come to visit that finally clued me in. What a shock that was, best surprise of my life. When we went to the doctor a few weeks later and saw that there were two babies, well, that day quickly surpassed the other for being the best ever. That is, once we picked him up off the floor from when he fainted, silly boy.
Little hands and toes.
Gentle quiet moments.
Our precious little ones. Oh, how tired we were. I couldn't have ever imagined the changes that occur to one's life after bringing a baby home from the hospital, and we'd brought two little girls home with us. They didn't stay little for long though. Before we knew it, there were smiles, teeth, talking, well babbling, and crawling everywhere. And the diapers. And the toys. And carrots on the walls, milk stains on the carpet. Bags under our eyes. We were so lucky though. We knew how blessed we were, and we shared everything: all of the responsibilities and enjoyed all the firsts.
We were fortunate that he was able to work from home and could help me and be present in their lives, especially those exhausting first months. I took so many pictures. The first time he held them. The first time we went for a walk with our babies; he was so proud to show them off. The first smiles and the first steps; he was right there to catch them all. Bath time, oh how Katie would scream. Lauren on the other hand, our little angel, would splash and kick. I think he was just as wet as she was once the bath was over. Once she was out of the bath though, that was when her screaming would start; she was so cold. She would shake and shiver, and he never remembered to have the diaper ready, so he'd often get wet a second time, silly boy.
Picnics in the park.
Baseball games once more.
Sweet raspberry kisses.
Measures on the kitchen wall.
Before we knew it, our girls were ten, and we were old, or at least some days we felt like we were. Life had settled into a comfortable place and pace. Summer vacations at the shore, camping and fishing with our parents, barbeques and picnics in the park. Both girls played baseball, but Katie was our little superstar, and oh, how he loved to cheer them on. Being the coach, he had to refrain from showing any favoritism, but I could always tell when he'd be bursting with excitement over some play she'd made. Lauren excelled more in school. She was still our little angel, and her love of her bath transferred over to the pool where she had her own shining moments.
Our girls loved being outdoors just as much as we always had. They'd beg us to camp in our backyard most summer nights, and he always let them. Most nights he'd try to convince me to join them, but I much preferred our bed. The odd time though I would, and everyone would get excited; I did it simply to see the joy on their faces. In the middle of the night, when I'd get up to pee, I'd notice his hands holding theirs, making sure they didn't escape during the night, silly boy.
A few grey hairs.
Changes along the way.
Wrinkles on a face.
Never more beautiful.
Nothing prepared me for being forty. Not. A. Thing. I hated it. I hated finding grey hair on my head and wrinkles developing everywhere else. When I was so tired each morning I thought my life was over, getting out of bed was hard. That was until my mother left me another pregnancy test. We'd tried for years for more children and had given up on ever adding to our little family. Then little Carl joined us several months later. We named him after a beautiful man who had left us suddenly only a few months before he was born. Another part of getting old that was hard. He had such a hard time with the loss of his father. Our little boy was such a blessing. He didn't take away the pain, but he certainly added many smiles to all of our faces.
His sisters loved and doted on him, too. They were already old enough to babysit, so we'd let them occasionally. He was such a precious gift, and we didn't want to miss any of his firsts either, so often he'd join us on our walks and excursions. The girls still did too when they could, if they weren't at their jobs or with their friends. He'd babble away, often being carried by one of us or being pushed in the stroller by one of the girls. It was on one of our walks that we discovered our new home. I didn't want to leave our first, but it was getting too small with our growing family. He surprised me with some original art in our new home: the door jamb we had used to measure our children. He had apparently ripped it off the wall just before leaving our old home, silly boy.
Life's precious moments.
You just never know.
The miracle of life should never be taken for granted. The miracles we are granted each day, most of us never realize they even happen. We got to witness our daughters falling in love, starting their careers, and one of them let us witness her union. The other decided she'd surprise us by announcing her pregnancy and her marriage which were both well established by the time they were revealed. Our little boy grew to be bigger than his father, more talented on the ball field than his dad too, but he managed to inherit the best gift from his namesake in that he had such a gentle soul. We were so proud of all of them and our newer members too.
We trudged along as one does when anticipating the next stage of their lives. I'd long retired after teaching for twenty years; I figured it was time to let someone else have a turn with my grade threes. We were waiting for his retirement, which was expedited when he discovered a lump in my breast one morning. Talk about ruining the moment, and boy did it scare the crap out of us. Miracles. We were granted another one when it turned out to be benign and I got to keep my breast. We decided that waiting for him to retire just wasn't important anymore. Having him home was what we both needed. He helped me with my various commitments and took over caring for the house and everyone else when I couldn't. Plus, I had the added benefit of him being home each morning. He became quite the expert at checking to make sure that my breasts stayed healthy, silly boy.
Travels down the highway.
Puttering our souls.
Popsicles and kisses.
Five new children eventually entered our family. Well, six if you counted our son's new bride. A lovely girl. She brought a child of her own into our folds, but I immediately included her as one of our own. Grandchildren. They were beacons of happiness and gave us lots of joy, but when they were returned to their parents, well, we were happy then too. We'd take them on hikes or to the park, and they loved coming with us on some of our trips, giving their parents a break and letting us relive some very happy moments.
We did that on our own, too. We discovered golf and a different meaning for hole in one; outdoor sex! Oh, but we weren't as quick and nimble as we used to be to get dressed, so we didn't do that often, but it sure was fun when we did. Other times, we'd get popsicles and go down to the park or the beach and hold hands like we were kids again. Some of my favorite times were when it was just the two of us on the road. We were fortunate to be able to travel to a lot of different countries, but we enjoyed discovering or rediscovering places in our own town too. One day we stumbled upon our meadow filled with flowers in bloom; we lay on the grass and took in the splendor around us. I was in awe of our surroundings, but he only looked at me and told me that the beauty of the place didn't hold a candle to the beauty of my face, silly boy.
50 years together.
Wishes for many more.
Celebrating a marriage that spanned fifty years was almost as fun as living it. It was definitely more enjoyable than planning the original event. It was a glorious affair, and all of our friends and family came out to celebrate with us. Those that were left that is. We'd seen the passing of many of our relatives and those close to us over the years. Esme left us a decade after her husband had. Her death was hard on us, but she'd always missed Carlisle, and we knew that she was in a happier place, which made it easier. My parents both left us soon after. We almost got used to it: the grieving, the funerals, the loss. It took its toll watching our loved ones go, but our faith and our memories always kept them close in our hearts.
Eventually we celebrated sixty years of marriage. This time, with only our children and their families around us. When one marries as young as we did and are fortunate to find your soul mate as we were, well, there was never any doubt that we would make it so far. Our love for life, for our children, and each other kept us going through the years. That and his ability to always make me laugh and smile. Even with his loss of hair and physical strength, he always kept my heart full of his love. His kisses and his touch still made me tingle, and that look he would give me which let me know I was his forever kept me alive, silly boy.
To my beloved,
I've loved you my entire life.
You are as beautiful as the first day I first saw you.
I am your silly boy.
My beautiful, beautiful girl. I found you when I was a child; I loved you my entire life, and now they say I have to let you go. When another cancer scare occurred I thought for sure we would beat it again; but we weren't so lucky this time. When you decided you didn't want any treatment I was certain I could convince you to at least try, but you were determined. You lived a full life you said. You were tired you said. You loved me you said, but it was time to say goodbye.
All of our children miss you so much and I know it will be hard on them, but it won't be long before I am by your side once more. We will have our eternity like I promised you long ago. I love you my beautiful girl; thank you for all of the gifts you gave me: our children, our home, your heart, and most of all, allowing me to be your silly boy.
A/N: I wrote this for the SU4K compilation, thank you Katalina for the inspiration. I can't say thank you enough to Robsmyyummy Cabanaboy and to Any AnyAny who helped me soo much with this story. Mostly in getting over my fear of actually posting it. I was so honoured when Perry Maxwell agreed to beta this for me before she even knew what to expect, I hope she knows how much it meant to me and how grateful I am for her magic touch on this story. Ladyeire3 made me a beautiful banner. I think that was when I knew this was real. I will forever be in their debt.