Friday, December 26, 2008

His Name is Eric

They met in the sixth grade and he was her ‘bully’ – or more accurately, he was doing what sixth grade boys do when they like a girl. And if that girl’s assigned seat just happened to be directly in front of said ‘bully’, then it made it just a little easier for him to get her attention. They had their first date in the ninth grade and he asked her to marry him on her 20th birthday.

When Eric accompanied our family to Costa Rica to be a part of the wedding celebration of my son and soon to be daughter in law, anyone would be hard-pressed to think he could have ever bullied her even on a sixth grade level. At the reception we girls kicked off our sassy high heels shoes and danced the night away, barefoot, while the Costa Rican monsoon dropped buckets from the moonlit sky. It was fantastic! When we got back to our garden of paradise hotel we were soaking wet and drenched in happiness. We all went our separate ways to change into dry clothes. As I walked down the hall to say goodnight to my own mom, she silently motioned for me to stop, put her finger up to her lips in the universal “shhhh” position then pointed, directing my attention to the room on the left. I know my mom’s smiles – the ones that say “thank you” or “you’re still so silly” but this one let me know that I was about to be witness to something that would speak volumes about the man who would soon be my only daughter’s husband. As I walked closer I heard a giggle. I turned back and looked at my mom with an expression that asked “are you sure I should look?” With her nod of approval, I cautiously peeked in, hoping not to be seen, and there I caught a glimpse of love in action. My daughter sat perched barefoot on the edge of the bathroom sink as Eric washed her dance weary feet like she was a princess. Bully? I think not. I can’t help but wonder… did the thought ever occur to her as she squirmed in her sixth grade classroom chair or when she threatened to tell the teacher on him if he didn’t stop teasing her….. “Today I met the boy I’m gonna marry”.

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