Thursday, March 19, 2009

Deano and the Dirty Thirty

Deano turns 30 today. Just between you and me, he is not handling it gracefully. But since I am not far behind, I will not comment on behavior lest I match him or one-up him in a few months.

One of the things that has been a wonderful outcome of the move is that we have grown even closer. I didn't really think it was possible until we were deep in the trenches of job hunting and the very real prospect of giving up hopes and dreams. Putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to standing by those we love. Even when it means leaving behind your job, friends, and tropical weather.

So for those reasons, I am reminded all the more of Dean's 21st birthday - his first birthday with me as a girlfriend. On Deano's 21st birthday, I met his family for the first time. They drove onto campus to take him out to lunch and to meet his girlfriend (me), which was getting serious enough to warrant parental meetings. His parents were outgoing and friendly, as usual. His brother, then only ten years old was scared out of his normal rambunctiousness and was rather subdued. I can imagine him thinking, "so she is the reason Deano doesn't come home so often on the weekends." Little did he know I'd also be the reason Dean moved away from Minnesota. I've always felt pretty bad about this. But I also anxiously await the day Kent falls in love and all of this instantly makes sense. After lunch, we all went back to Dean's apartment where I got to witness my first display of Dean watching college basketball with his dad. If that didn't scare me away, nothing would.

It was long after the family left, over a sack of White Castles and his first legal six pack of Miller Lites that I gave Deano his birthday presents. I honestly don't remember what any of them were but one. After the presents were opened and we had snuggled back in on the couch, I told him I loved him for the very first time. I had my head against his chest and could her his heart speed up as I said it. I waited a few moments and looked up at him and he was staring at me, a little shocked. And then he told me he loved me too.

I've told him I love him every single day since then, even far away of only by text message or email. When love is new, it never feels like it can get any better, but it does. It grows more full-bodied, more complex like an aged wine. And definitely more delicious. Happy birthday, darling.

7 comments:

Hot4Teacha said...

That is awesome, Nat - I didn't know his birthday was the first time you guys said the "L" word. How great is that??? I love that you two found each other and have such an amazing bond.

I will commence to send Dean an obnoxious e-card for this momentous occasion. If I can't be there to make him drink a Prairie Fire (remember that?), then a card shall have to suffice!

MIL said...

I am so happy the two of you found each other to love. You have exactly what a mother hopes for. Thank you, MB for taking such good care of him.

anne said...

What a cute story, and Happy Birthday! I just wrote that I am okay with my 30 (in 30 days) but I fear I may eat those words as the month progresses.

Dianne said...

this is so genuine and romantic, I love it!!

Happy Birthday Deano!

Anonymous said...

Natalie:
Wish Dean a Happy 30th Birthday from me. And many, many more to come.
Catsfursure

Jeni said...

Wish Deano a very happy birthday from me too and tell him that turning 30 is a piece of cake -as is 40, 50, 60 and on up because it beats the hell out of the alternative!
Great post! Now go have a wonderful celebration for the big 30!

dr sardonicus said...

You couldn't have given Dean a better 21st birthday present. Falling in love is an awesome thing.

Happy birthday, Deano.