All great stories begin with this line, “Once upon a time…” and end with a happily ever after. As a woman, I love these type of stories. They make me smile and sigh. There is usually a handsome prince and a beautiful princess involved and things are all wrapped up in a neat little package. We have read them and we have dreamed about them. Most of us will never experience one.
I was able to witness one and I want to share with you what I was able to see. It is a blessing to me and I hope it will be for you also.
Once upon a time, long ago in the distant past (1979) there was a young family who moved to Maine. There was a husband and a wife and a little baby girl. Yep, that was my dear hubby and myself and my oldest daughter.
We arrived in Maine on a Friday evening and moved into our temporary living quarters on a Saturday. As a young mother, I promptly walked from the car with baby in arms and went into the house to settle her down for a nap. My hubby unloaded the car and began to meet neighbors. One of these neighbors invited us to church the following day and handed us a loaf of fresh-baked bread.
The following morning we got ourselves together and walked the two doors down to let the neighbors to let them know we were ready to go. Standing in the doorway with my little bundle dressed in pink (most likely, she was always in pink) I marvelled at how put together the house was and how elegant this neighbor was. Skipping down the steps came her daughter, adorable with her cute little dress and her pig tails bouncing with each step. I love little girls and never thought I would want any other type of baby. A couple of seconds behind their daughter, came their son. I saw him starting down the steps and saw his infectious smile and his sandy blonde/brown hair bouncing as he bounced down the steps, as only boys can do. My heart melted. I saw him and told the Lord, “If I could have a little boy like this, I would take him in a minute.” My heart was captured immediately.
Well, that little boy was 9 years old at the time and his sister was 7. That family and ours began a lifelong friendship on that day. Months later when my daughter was in her walker and school was in session I would open the door so she could watch through the storm door as this young man rode his bicycle home from school. She would lean over in her walker and pound on the door screaming his name and he would slow down just enough to ring his bicycle bell and holler back at her. He was her first crush, he was also one of her babysitters.
A couple of years passed, and we got orders to San Diego. This family got orders to D.C.. We kept in touch through mail and the occasional phone call. We visited once while the kids were still around. Our youngest was 3 then, our oldest was 7. A now high school young man came walking into the living room where we were visiting, played a short time with our oldest and patted our youngest on the head in a ‘cute kid’ type of fashion. He went out to be with his friends.
More years passed. We were still in CA and for a season this other couple came to live in the same city. It was wonderful to be with such good friends again. We spent weekends grabbing coffee or dinner or movies or all of them at once. We reestablished our friendship as only old friends can. Our daughters were grown. Our oldest was living on her own and working, our youngest was 19 and completely immersed in college. Their children were also on their own, in their early 30’s.
One week in August, their son came to visit. We planned a picnic so our daughters could see and actually meet him. He brought his girlfriend. We met and the young people all headed off on a walk. The walk started off with my girls together and he and his girlfriend walking together. An hour later they all came back. My oldest and his girlfriend were deep in conversation. My oldest can talk to a dead tree and get a response. She has never met a stranger, so this did not surprise me. What surprised me was that my quiet, reserved youngest was in an animated conversation with their son. This was a first for me to see her converse with someone so easily.
Another few years pass. Our youngest graduates from college and is making her future plans. She considers going overseas to teach english as a second language. We were thrilled for her. Their son breaks up with his girlfriend.
Now, the plot thickens…. What happens next is like a whirlwind that comes up unexpectedly. My youngest and their son begin to email one another. I had to go out-of-town and when I left he had written twice and she was sending her first email. I go and help a friend out and then I was to meet his mother for a road trip (they had moved back east at this point). Three weeks after I had left home I find out that the emails had not only flown back and forth, but there were actually phone calls! I have to remind you that this girl very rarely talked on the phone (at that point in her life). This was a shock to my system, a good one, but still stunning news.
Absorbing this news was quick, then I found out that they were actually planning on meeting one another at one of his parent’s home in AZ. She goes for a visit and the girl I pick up from the airport after the visit was not the same girl I dropped off. She was glowing! Within the next couple months the plans for going overseas were dropped. She moved back to D.C. to work and see if there was something permanent with this young man. Six months after moving across the country, he proposed. Six months after that, they were married.
They are now blessing our families with a baby boy. In the past four years I have thought back to that first Sunday morning where I prayed for a little boy like him. My prayers were more than answered, because, I got the original. Once upon a time, there was a little girl and an older boy, they met, they fell in love and they are living happily ever after.
My friend and I sometimes sit back and wonder at the goodness of God. He brought our families together so many years ago and now has joined us together. Six weeks from now we will have our new little boy, the best of both of these kids. We cannot wait to meet him and tell him about his story. This is our fairy tale and daily I am thankful.