Today marks two special events in our family. The first is that it's been 12 years since Steve and I have been together. Yeah! I think we'll celebrate by both crashing early. Such is the life. The second is that our fourth child and only daughter was born on this day two years ago. What joy, tenderness, femininity and sweetness she's added to the "roughness" in our home. Since she's most likely going to be the only girl, we treasure her presence immensely and are so glad she's ours. Happy 2nd Birthday Elle! We love you!
Part 7-First Kiss
Soon enough we were back in San Luis Obispo with Fall Quarter underway. Many people in AGO were shocked to hear we were dating since most didn't have a clue that we liked each other at all before the summer. Many assumed we had been a camp romance and so we had to set the record straight a bit, which was fine. One of the biggest blessings for us was that we had so many older couples, who had dated or were dating while in AGO, who were either engaged or married, that served as amazing examples of godly relationships. We also had many peers and close friends who had gotten together too so we had many people to emulate. As we dove back into our regular way of life, we watched and learned.
Early on in October I suspected our first kiss might be coming and I was hoping it would be soon. Steve had kissed my hand at the end of the summer and then one night, when he was helping me study for a math exam (and I was a bit frustrated with my studies), he sweetly kissed the top of my head. I was guessing the cheek would be next but, I really wasn't sure. All of my roommates had bets on the cheek. I was hoping he'd skip the cheek altogether and go for the prize...it was getting harder for me to wait. Whenever he held me close I had to use all my self-control to not steal a quick little peck but the fact that I was determined not to be the one that kissed him first, kept me in check!
It was a beautiful fall Saturday in October when Steve asked me to hang out for the afternoon. I didn't think much of it at all. When he showed up in his buddy Scott's car with a red rose in his hand I thought, "Oh how sweet! He's learning!" And that was pretty much it. I wasn't sure where we were headed until we began driving away from San Luis Obispo and toward Montana de Oro, which is a beautiful, rugged beach lined with breathtaking cliffs. Steve had packed us a lunch of sandwiches from Gus's and after hiking down to the water, we ate our lunch down on the beach.
Right after lunch I asked him if we could take a walk. He said, "No," pretty quickly and firmly. I thought that a bit strange so I tried again to get him to come and walk with me, but he wouldn't budge. Little did I know he was mustering his courage. I grabbed his hand trying to urge him down through the sand but instead he pulled me close. I pulled away teasingly and told him that we should start walking. And then he got serious. I realized he wasn't in a joking mood so I stopped messing around and listened.
He pulled me close again. I didn't think much of it since for four months I had been in his arms on numerous occasions and that was it. And then he started talking. "Nikki, I know you've waited a long time for me to give you flowers." I nodded in agreement, halfway hoping inside that the flower-giving would start to pick up now that he realized how much I liked it. "Well, I waited to give you flowers until the day I would kiss you for the first time because I wanted it to be special." Then I knew. But before I had any opportunity to be scared or shy or even totally excited out of my mind, he kissed me.
It was the sweetest, most gentle kiss ever and before I knew it, it was over. Way too fast in my opinion. I had waited so long for that kiss. So without even thinking and void of any decorum at all, as soon as he pulled away, I blurted out, "Kiss me again!" He laughed, smiled and then reached for me to kiss me again. That time I was ready. The first time I wasn't expecting it so I didn't get to savor it. But the second time I was able to take it all in, the sound of the lapping waves, the salty breeze, his hand on my face and his tender lips on mine. And in doing so, I was able to capture that little snippet in time and etch it on my memory, so that I could store it up in my heart and remember the moment forever.