An Ordinary Love Story By Lexi Herrick
If you are reading this, you must have have fallen
in love. I must have searched through the stacks of boxes in the garage to find this story for you. If you are unsure as to why you are reading this handmade book, just remember what a hopeless romantic your mother has always been.I wrote this story for you, when your heart was young.
There is a reason that this short book is entitled,
An Ordinary Love Story. As each of us grows and develops a sense of self, we are faced with the images of what love is â€œsupposed to beâ€?. I am here to tell your young heart that those images are false. Love can be very ordinary, and that is not something to be let down by. Your father and I have had our own. There is nothing more beautiful than an ordinary love story.
We were very young when we fell in love. Your
father and I were just fifteen and sixteen when we first became a couple in high school. Many would say that age is far too young to even know what it means to be in love, but I would have to disagree. This is my advice to you, whether you are reading this when you are eighteen or forty, if love is true, it conquers all. This is our story.
Graduating high school was the first of our
objectives, and looking back on our pasts we both wish it wouldnâ€™t have been our last in our educations. I hope that you can fall in love with knowledge sooner than I did. There isnâ€™t a doubt in my mind that you will go to college, and you may be enrolled in college as you read this right now. If you too fall in love young, please remember to not forget about the love you have with knowledge.
Your father has never ceased to surprise me.
On the Christmas following graduation I couldnâ€™t believe it when he pulled out the little ring. If your father had an ounce of nerves it wasnâ€™t noticable. His eyes glistened from the lights on the tree as he whispered that he was in love with me. He told me that he knows in his heart that I am all that he has ever wanted and that for every day for the rest of his life I will always be all that heâ€™s ever wanted. I have been faced with difficult decisions in life, but on that night uttering a tearfilled yes was not one of them.
We were married less than a year later, and
wanted to move away. If we had thought with our minds we would have recognized that we couldnâ€™t afford this, but our hearts did the thinking. Your grandfatherâ€™s old truck became one of our wedding gifts and we loaded everything that we had into it. I can still remember the sad look on his face standing in the lawn with my mother, and how I watched them fade away in the rearview mirror as the truck drove away. I am sure I will reveal a similar expression to you sometime soon if you are reading this.
That first apartment became the target of a lot
of jokes between your father and I in the years following our moving out of it. No matter how much I scrubbed and dusted, it never could be clean. We didnâ€™t move into a glorious home and palace to begin our life together as many stories depict. Instead, we huddled under piles of blankets when the heat wouldnâ€™t work and laughed about the possiblity of sneaky rats running off with the pizza that we left out on the counter during the night.
Living with someone else is not a task that ever
ends up being quite as easy as it is imagined to be. Relationships of any kind heavily consist of both giving and taking. They are built upon compromise and understanding. My lesson for you is that as you fall in love, please remember that you will eventually be required to swallow your pride for it. Some days you will wash dishes and clean the toilet. The stories fail to mention one of the most important gifts that love and marriage gives to you. Love will cause you to grow up just as it caused us to.
Money was not something that was easy to come
by for your father and I. At the time, full time job positions were difficult to find. I worked in several part time positions, and many times I was working at two or three different places at one time. Needless to say we werenâ€™t able to see much of each other for awhile. Spending time with one another consisted of falling asleep from exhaustion on the couch while attempting to watch a movie.
Your father is one of of the most hardworking
people that you will ever meet and he has always been that way. He woke up at 4:30 in the morning to get ready to leave for work. He was outside in the heat or the freezing cold all day long because that was the only job available to make ends meet for the two of us. Your father had blisters from the sun, blisters from his boots, cuts on his hands, burns on his legs, and yet he never once spoke of quitting. That is what it means to be a hero in a real love story. It means to never give up.
You must understand that unfortunately a good
amount of time in a relationship ends up getting dedicated to problamatic situations. Your father and I had bills to pay, and often times, we didnâ€™t have the money to do so. One day, you and your young wife will most likely have some type of disagreement relating to issues that are similar to these. I want you to know that is ok, and that no matter what the case may be please, do not let finances get in between the two of you. The most rewarding chapters in your love story will have no dollar sign upon them.
I havenâ€™t learned how to ride a horse together
on the beach or how to romantically sail in to the sunset with a gentle breeze blowing through my hair. But what I have learned is the strength behind the absense of blame. Blame is cancerous. When business was slow your father would have to look for other construction jobs until he could work again. He didnâ€™t blame the economy that was in recession or blame me for not being able to handle paying the bills on my own at the time. Every hardship happens for a reason, it will make you stronger.
After about a year and a half we were able to
save enough money to work out a deal with my grandfatherâ€™s company about getting a little home to call our own. We danced in the kitchen multiple times a week the first few months that we lived there. It was small and very simple, but because it was ours it felt like we were living in a palace. We would play the radio and laugh together as we danced on the floor that we worked so hard to put under our feet.
The day that I discovered that I would be blessed
with the opportunity to be your mother I immediately rushed to the store. I bought only one item, a small pack of white baby socks. When I pulled the socks out of the bag your father ended up holding them in his hands in complete awe for a few moments before he pulled me in. Words cannot describe the jubilant emotions that flow within this chapter of our love story. One day you will understand.
We were like children in a candy store when we
went out shopping for you. Your father and I found ourselves stopping in the middle of choosing bibs or pacifiers just to stare at eachother with excitement. Having a child together is incredible enough to surpass the love stories that I have been referring to. It is a gift unlike any other.
You my dear are a love story all of your own for
me. One day when you have children, I hope you reflect back upon the story that your mother gave to you to read when you first fell in love. This is because you will fall in love all over again when you have those children. A new and powerful kind of love will grow that strengthens your story in ways that you could never have imagined.
Your father honestly canâ€™t contain himself when
you laugh. We take your picture every second that we get the chance and lay in bed at night talking about all of the wonderful things that we know you will do. We cannot wait to watch you grow. As you grow, so do the two of us, and so our story continues. Our love story extended to you, and to helping you create a beautiful story of your own.
I soon became even more skilled at cutting out
coupons and figuring out the best possible sales. Your father started calling me “The Coupon Queen” at one point. The two of us had to adapt significantly to the changes that came along with having a baby at the house. You were a beautiful and expensive little man who required a lot of assistance from “The Coupon Queen” when we ventured to the store. Each chapter brought its hardships along with its perfect memories.
Do you remember my telling you that our story
was not always easy or glamourous? With sleepless nights spent with you and a lot of extra expenses, tensions were running high for a good while when you were first born. It is normal to argue sometimes, and I would actually call it healthy as well. Anger does not replace love or raise doubt in a true love story. It is our imperfections that make us human and make us special. Please expect that there will be disagreements with the one that you love, and do not be discouraged.
Eventually, everything got much easier with having
a new baby. I continued to obsessively cut coupons and you ceased a constant crying that took place around three in the morning every night for a few months. Your father worked his way up to a higher position at the construction company and there is talk of an office job sometime in the future for him. I am working part time and spending most of my time with you now. We learn from eachother every day, and I hoped to still be able to teach you a great lesson in the future with this book.
Falling in love must be so wonderful for you and my
heart skips a beat just thinking of you being of that age. I pray that you will understand why I wanted you to see a little of what my simple love story consisted of. I want you to know that if your heart is filled to the brim with happiness you cannot fail. No love story ever ends up being exactly the way that any of us had intended it to be. Our love stories end up being better, because they are ours, and they are real.
Your father and I are so incredibly gracious for
our blessings. I have found that the statement that he made the evening that he purposed to me has been true every day since that night and I expect it still will be when you are reading this. He is all that I want for every day, no matter what that day may bring. We have laughed and cried together through these stages of our lives and we only look forward to entering every new stage. Our photo albums, memories, and hearts will only grow as the future unfolds for us.
Keep your heart young and open to the beauty
of the ordinary. The simple parts of your life and your love will be those that you are most gracious for. I hope that in a world filled with shallow means of fufillment you still know in your heart what truly matters. Do not set expectations for your love story. You must let it run through your life on its own course and embrace it with an open heart.
Remember what I have told you as you venture
into your own story. Know that we love you and that we are always here for guidance. Love conquers all things in this world Max. I wish you the best as you begin to write your ordinary and absolutely beautiful love story. Love Always, Mom