Tomorrow will mark the 20th anniversary of the day that this boy named Jon asked me to be his girlfriend. We were in a park in Abbotsford, not far from the Jr. High where we were both grade 9 students. We were 14 years old – so, so young. Unbelievably young, really.
Jon kissed me in that park that day – my first real kiss from a boy. And, to this day, he’s the only boy I’ve ever really kissed. (Although Jon, ever so much more worldly, apparently kissed his grade 7 girlfriend. I’m still vaguely jealous.) And now, through some fluke of time, we find ourselves 20 years later, we’re still together. We’ve never been apart. Well, I mean, physically we’ve been apart. Sometimes Jon goes to work and stuff, and back in 1991 we lived in different houses with our own parents. Because, you know, we were 14. But we’ve never broken up, and never dated anyone else in all that time.
How does 20 years go by so fast? How did I end up here, today, married to that boy? I remember every step along the way, but it sure doesn’t feel like it was 20 years. 10, maybe. But surely not 20. And yet it was – I have the photographs to prove it.
Back in 1991 with our friend Jim
Year-end dance in 1992
All dressed up for our high school prom in 1994
A summer day in 1996
On a weekend get-away in 1999*
*Tip: When your girlfriend’s expecting you to propose anytime, and you’re all dressed up and seated in a fancy restaurant, instead of saying, “I forgot something in the car and I need to go get it,” say, “I forgot the camera in the car, I’ll be right back.” Unless, of course, you particularly enjoy the hairy eyeball when she decides this is it, and it turns out not to be it at all.
At our engagement party in 2000
Amber’s university graduation in 2000
Our wedding in 2001
Visiting Peggy’s Cove in 2004
Welcoming baby Hannah in 2005
Jon’s brother’s wedding in 2008
Welcoming baby Jacob in 2008
Our family in 2010
It turns out that 20 years is not so long at all. And it also turns out that sticking it out through thick and thin, when you’ve found the right person, is totally worth it. I can think of no one more right for me than my husband Jon. He is truly the very best person I know, and I’m so glad that I found him so early in life.
20 years ago I never could have imagined that day in the park marked the beginning of a journey that would bring me here. That we would weather so many changes together – learning how to drive, graduating from high school, starting first jobs, going away to university, marriage and cars and a mortgage and babies. 20 years has certainly brought us a lot of changes, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 20 years. To us!