It’s so cliche, but I fell in love with Dave’s eyes the first moment I saw them. He walked into an ice cream shop and I turned to my best friend and whispered, “He is so sexy. I see Jesus in his eyes.” Then Dave sat down across from us. I blushed. We talked for almost 5 hours.
And that night, I told my mom I wanted to marry him.
A few years later, we were Mr & Mrs David Ballew. Alex, who had introduced us, was our best man. My sister was my maid of honor. Dave and I danced to a Coldplay song with twinkle lights all around the room. And he touched my leg for the first time when he removed my garter. His eyes were twinkling brighter than those lights, and I couldn’t stop looking into them.
And I haven’t ever stopped.
I promise I get that same feeling in the pit of my stomach when he looks at me. While he’s making dinner. Or making a bottle. Or making a Lego helicopter. His eyes have seen grief and joy and test results and I still get lost in them. They are my safe place. But also where I find so much excitement in myself.
It sometimes takes my breath away for a moment when I think back on that day. When I least expected to meet the person I would never want to be away from. And I didn’t want to leave him. Then, I got into Alex’s car and remembered I was dating someone. A really nice guy from my university. So sweet. And a great friend.
Dave just wanted to be friends, but there was no way I could continue dating someone else. I broke up with a perfectly wonderful guy, for one who wasn’t that interested in me. “I met someone else. He doesn’t actually want to date me, but I can’t date you when I’m in love with him. That seems like a horrible thing to do.”
My mom had always teased that ‘you never know when you’ll meet your husband’…which was her line every time I tried to run an errand in baggy yoga pants. But she was right, as most moms are. I didn’t wake up that June Wednesday thinking I would meet my future lover. Over strawberry ice cream.
And I didn’t think I would love him before he loved me. It just happened that way. And I waited and waited for him to either fall in love with me or just fall in love with someone else. Even though the thought of him marrying anyone other than me caused tears so many nights.
There are times when I forget that I’m a mom with three kids and a mortgage and junk mail to sift through everyday. And I just think back to our first kiss.
I don’t share the details very often, because it’s one of the most intimate and gorgeous nights of my life. Months before, he had already told me he wouldn’t kiss me until he knew he wanted to marry me. So when his voice said, “May I kiss you?” his eyes said, “I want to marry you someday.”
This month is the anniversary of our first date. And the anniversary of when he asked me to be his bride. One year apart. We went through four seasons together before he was in front of me with that ring box. And that’s another story I don’t share very often, but I just might if pressed.