Today marks nine years since my first electric kiss with My Guy one lovely August evening in Chicago. Here’s a story that I think captures our nine years together quite well.
He said, “look, we’re not too far away from the Gulf,” and showed me the map. He was right. A detour to Pensecola would be nice. We weren’t really in a hurry to get home anyway. After five long, unexciting hours in the car since we said goodbye to My Guy’s parents in St. Augustine, Florida, it was time for something different.
”You sure?” He double-checked, right before the exit off the Interstate that would’ve taken us all the way back to Texas.
”Yes, let’s do it.” We’ve never seen the Gulf of Mexico – why not?
And that’s how we ended up here.
Before we left the car, we said to the girls, “Okay, listen. We can play in the sand and even walk in the water a little, but we’re not going in.”
They both agreed. Of course, that’s before we actually saw what was in store for us. We were foolish enough to think that we would just feel the waves wash over our feet, kick around in the sand a little and continue on our merry way after a few minutes at the beach. HAH! What were we (not) thinking?!
When we saw the pristine white sand against the two-toned blue of the gulf, we couldn’t believe our eyes. The postcard-perfect beach took us by surprise. We did attempt – albeit feebly – to resist the temptation, but when the waves found our feet, it also washed away all signs of resolve. The water was warm and inviting, the waves, gentle yet fun. Both Pickle and Little Miss begged, can we please go in the water? At that point, resistance was futile.
”But what about our clothes?” My Guy asked.
”Just go in.” I said, although he didn’t need too much persuasion. His heart was already there. Much to the delight of the girls, he took them in with him. There wasn’t even a moment’s hesitation on their part; they were ready to dive in the moment we mentioned the word “beach”.
Pickle had lived next to one all her life before we moved to Austin, after all. It’s practically in her DNA. We had our suitcases in our car, so I decided to actually change out of my maxi dress and into my swimsuit in the car so it doesn’t billow around me and make me look like some striped grey blob in the water.
Since our version of the beach in Chicago meant tentatively wading in chilly Lake Michigan most of the time, the lovely bath-water temperature of the Gulf felt incredible. Little Miss was brave enough to swim on her own, and Pickle, in her swim vest, would ride the wave to me after letting go of her daddy. It was such a thrill to be in there with them. We didn’t stay too long though. Maybe an hour at the most, since we had the rest of the journey ahead, but for something so surprising and so unexpected, the hour felt extremely satisfying. It was such a tremendous gift.
This may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but honestly, this is what it’s like to live with My Guy. Spontaneous. Fun. Delightful. Full of passion for exploring and discovering something new. And once in awhile, I’m even inspired to take a little risk. We don’t scale mountains or tame lions, so it’s not like we lead the most exciting lives, but a little relocation to Austin here and a little unplanned detour to the beach there make it seem like what we have is enough.
Actually, what we have is plenty, and I am extraordinarily grateful for this life, for this man, for every day we’ve been together these nine, wonderful years.
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Happy anniversary, my love. You’re pretty cool, you know that?