It was 39 years ago today, on August 6, 1973, that the boy of my dreams--the nicest, smartest, handsomest, most all-around wonderful boy in the universe--stood with me in the pouring rain near the football field where our school played its Friday night games and asked, "Will you go with me?" (Going with someone was the early 70's terminology for going steady, at least in our neck of the woods.)
I have very few photos of that boy and me from our high school years, since I had not yet become a fanatical shutterbug--and besides, I wasn't very comfortable having my picture taken. (Also, it seems that back in the pre-digital, pre-cell phone, pre-Facebook era, people didn't take nearly as many pictures as they do nowadays.) I don't even know who snapped this shot of us when we were juniors, chatting in homeroom after school (with my husband's best buddy looking on). But wow, just take a gander at that boyfriend of mine! Unfortunately, there's a chair leg in the way, hiding part of his face; even so, it's obvious that he's a heartthrob of the highest order. Really, be still my heart!
I went with him through high school, and then through college (even though he was out in South Bend, IN at Notre Dame, and I was in Worcester, MA at Holy Cross). I married him in 1980, seven and a half years after we officially became boyfriend-girlfriend, and I went him to Corpus Christi, TX and then on to Beeville, TX (that hotbed of exciting activity!), where he graduated from Naval flight training, got his aviator's wings, and became a dad for the first time when our oldest son was born in 1983. I went with him to Jacksonville, FL, where he was an A-7 pilot, deployed on a four-month cruise, transitioned to the F-18 fighter jet, became an F-18 flight instructor, and gave me three more sons between 1985 and 1988. Then I went with him to the suburbs of Chicago when he began his second career as a commercial airline pilot flying out of O'Hare Airport. And finally, I went east with him when he changed hubs and began flying out of Logan Airport in Boston. He flies out of JFK in NYC now, commuting out of Logan. But we won't be going anywhere else. He gave me a permanent home here in southern NH--a beautiful four-bedroom Colonial in which we have been settled for about 22 years now. And in 1993 he gave me a fifth (and last) son.
Going with this boy I fell in love with, this man I married almost 32 years ago--and with whom I raised five fine sons, who are the lights of both our lives--has been quite a ride, one I wouldn't trade for all the tea in China. And to think, it all started on a rainy night 39 years ago, when the cutest 15-year-old boy this 15-year-old girl had ever seen asked her to go [steady] with him.