This time of year always reminds me of meeting Michael. I can’t explain it other than to say that it feels the same. Spring is something amazing in a place like Idaho. As a Texas native, I don’t think I really understood the fuss about the season change. Mild weather turned even more mild in March and then it was usually straight up hot by April. But in Idaho, Spring is hard-earned---a reward for surviving a Winter of zero-degree weather and mornings spent earnestly trying to remove thick ice that’s persistently clasped to your windshield. It comes when you’re almost out of hope, after months of staring longingly at your cropped turquoise pants and sandals as you stuff your hair in a beanie and zip your coat up past your neck.
Eventually though it comes, and when it does, it’s the most awesome thing in the world.
On the first nice day every single person in the city goes to the park. Girls lie out in bikinis, guys play volleyball without shirts on, families eat fried chicken on checkered blankets, frisbees, hammocks, bikes, slack lines... it’s all there. Like a perfect picture; something I thought only existed in movies. You can feel the happiness floating around in the air like dandelion puff, and then, like an allergy attack, it hits you. You can’t help but to feel happy, too. Everyone is a little bit nicer. Strangers walk past you in the grocery store parking lot and say things like, “How bout’ this nice weather we’re having, eh?” It’s the best you guys, just take my word for it.
It’s the perfect time of year to fall in love. And that’s exactly what I did three years ago. I met Michael on May 2, 2012, and I can’t (can’t, CAN’T!) believe the following October, (Only five. months. later!) we were married. That’s crazy, right? It is. I know that. But let me tell you, it was absolutely the best thing I could have done. I would never advise someone to get married after only knowing a person for five months, and I’ve spent a good amount of time racking my brain trying to figure out why we worked so well, so fast, why we learned all of each other’s secrets at a supersonic speed, and why we moved so quickly from infatuation to a deep and meaningful love for each other. Because after we were married there were no surprises. I mean there were good surprises, like the fact that he doesn’t snore and all of the amazingness that comes with intimacy...but I never had a moment where I felt like there was something that I wished I had known about him before we were married. I’ve chalked it up to Michael being the most genuine person that I’ve ever met. He is 100% Michael 100% of the time, which made falling in love with him the easiest thing in the world and makes staying in love with him even easier. And while I can’t believe that the best part of my life was only introduced to me three years ago, I realize that he came into my life at exactly the right time.
We have a surprising amount of married friends who knew each other in high school, and sometimes I find myself envying their long and rich history. They know each other’s high school best friends and saw each other during their awkward stages. I’ve told Michael many times that I wish we had also known each other then. I wish that I knew him when his hair was long and he was too self-conscious about his crooked teeth to smile without closing his lips. I wish he could understand what the Fire Truck Crew is ( a spirit group of sorts that is unique to my high school and ridiculously hard to explain without seeming like I was a total nerd) and maybe see me in a school play. I wish I had met him before any of my other failed relationships or bad choices. I wish we had grown up together. I wish I married him first. Because ultimately, meeting Michael sooner would have meant more days together.
However, I’m not so sure that a 20-year-old Michael would have loved a 20-year old Kelsey ( I mean, I’d like to think so as we are soul-mates and all). You can't wish Winter away to make Spring come any sooner, and maybe we need the harsher weather so that we can relish in the mild days a little better. Likewise, I think Michael and I weren’t quite ready for each other until that day in May when he showed up on my doorstep. So although I have too many regrets to count, I really don’t think I would do anything different because every bad day taught me something. Every wrong choice eventually looped around to a right choice, every mistake led me to a way to mend it, and every moment of hopelessness led me to an increased amount of faith. Life had molded us both into the people we were so that when we met that fateful Spring day we were prepared for each other. Before I met Michael, I was busy sheepishly carrying around my baggage and only allowing people to see pieces of it little by little, but when he came along I put it all out there on the table and he so readily loved me all the more for it. How amazing it is to have someone that knows you inside and out, every bad thing you’ve ever done and every major mess-up, and loves you completely in spite and maybe even because of it?
I’m so glad that life just has a way of working out. Because it’s so clear to me that if A, B, and C hadn’t happened exactly when they happened, then I would’ve been nowhere near Rexburg, Idaho in the May of 2012, and I never would’ve opened my door to see a freckled-face cutie standing on my porch.
And just like the first warm day, he was well worth the wait.