My mom told me I had to ask my dad to go out on a date with this one particular boy (instead of just giving me the green light on her own). I'm not really sure why, I guess it was because she didn't know the family and was hesitant. Dad, on the other hand, remembered having the boy in question during study hall. Since all judgment was always based on how a student acted during class, my dad said yes. Luckily, this boy was a good student.
We weren't even going to go on our own. His dad was throwing horseshoes at the State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri, and his family said I could go with them. It was exciting for me, I'd known him for about eight months, and our time had finally arrived. We were going to go on our first date.
It was August 17, 1996.
I drove to his house that morning, and I finally got to meet his parents. Over the course of several weeks, I had heard his mom's voice on the phone when she would answer (oh, but I wasn't supposed to call boys...this was always the, "Hey, call me back," trick). She was sweet and quiet. In contrast, his dad was a funny, talkative guy. The ice breaker on the trip was poking his dad on the side so he would jump in fear, it always caught him by surprise.
As we pulled up to the entrance, the person taking money for the tickets looked into the car, saw the four of us, and asked, "So, is that three adults and one child?" Talk about an ego deflater for a young guy. That meant my date looked 12! I pretended not to hear it, it didn't matter to me what someone else thought.
We held hands and walked throughout the fair. We rode the rides. We saw the exhibits. We watched his dad throw horseshoes and receive third place! When it came time to leave, we drove to Pizza Hut for dinner. I knew this family had good taste right from the start.
Fourteen years later, I still go to Pizza Hut with them from time to time. Usually they take our entire family, sometimes they'll just take the kids!
I love you, Josh. I remember our first date like it was yesterday. All these years have gone by and you still love me like the giddy, 15-year-old boy you once were. Thank you for being the best husband to me and the best father to our children. Could we have ever imagined what fourteen years into the future would look like?
I think it looks perfect.
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