I emerged triumphant, skipped across my lawn, across the street and into my neighbor's yard where they were swinging leisurely and chatting with my parents.
"He asked me out! He asked me out! I'm going hiking Saturday with Paul!"
I was seventeen. Spectacular castles in the sky.
Bro. Byington looked mildly amused and slowly said, "Are you sure about that idea? I've been hiking with that boy, and he doesn't wait for anyone."
I trained all week for that date, and couldn't keep up. I am proud to say, however, that I didn't drop in weeping exhaustion like the other girl we doubled with, who in all fairness was having menstrual cramps and trying not to die on the trail.
I somehow managed to convince that man to marry me, and I have been lagging behind ever since.
I've come to the conclusion that we will never walk slowly down the sidewalk, sharing intimate thoughts.
We'll never enter church arm in arm.
I'll never finish a hike at the same time, or in the same shape. But I am perfectly willing to stay in the camp with the babies while he hikes with the older kids.
While we dated, I gave him the impression that I was game for all the athletic pursuits he fantasized as a couple, and he gave me the impression that we would dance together.
He forgives me for overspending, I forgive him for forgetting my birthday.
He doesn't kiss me in the kitchen, but he does do the dishes.
I don't ski with him, but I pack him a lunch with homemade cookies and silly notes.
He's not my girlfriend, but he encourages me to have them.
When I wake up in the night, he is holding my hand.
It's more than enough.