Love Story - Vol 7 "Kristin ♥ Sean"

Todays love story comes Kristin {via} Crown Jewells
This is a longer letter, but well worth the read.
I am happy to be featuring it!
If you haven't been to Kristins blog before please do visit, you will be glad you did!

Im so happy that I am able to add this to my Love Story Project! 

KRISTIN & SEAN

Our love story begins long before we even knew each others’ names, or even that the other existed. I often wonder how many times our paths may have crossed unknowingly—in a hallway, in a classroom, on a playground. As a fifth grader, did he watch the middle school production of Annie and look at Orphan #4 and think, “hmm, I might marry that girl someday.” Of course he didn’t. Did he notice the high schooler working in his mom’s preschool classroom when he came in after school for a ride home? Doubtful. Or for that matter, did I ever think twice about the boy who came and waited for the sweet the woman who worked in the preschool classroom before me—the one I often chatted with as she finished up her day? Nope.


But it’s still strange to think of the dozens of times we probably sat in the same church service, stood in the same room, or attended an all-school assembly without knowing that some someday, these two strangers would end up, well…us.

To find a place to start is difficult, because you could trace our acquaintance back many years. But college—my college, that is—is where I think our story really picks up.

I had just finished my sophomore year of college in Wisconsin, about 90 miles from my hometown in Minnesota. I had finally made the difficult, but necessary, decision to transfer to a school closer to home. I was relieved to be permanently back in the city that always held my heart.

That fall, I started a job as an after-school teacher at the child care center where I worked in high school. It was also the child care center for the elementary school I grew up in. I was excited to be back at a job I really enjoyed, surrounded by familiar faces and good friends.

At our first staff meeting of the school year, I briefly noticed a younger guy sitting across from me. I was shy—I am shy—so I never looked quite in his direction. I stole glances out of the corner of my eye, and we exchanged pleasantries as we were introduced. His name was Sean. Less than an hour later the meeting was over and we were on our way. I didn’t give it a second thought.

Within a few weeks, our group of coworkers had grown very close. We spent hours each day together, playing with the kids and socializing with each other. (It sounds like we were slacking on our child supervision duties but I assure you we were not.) It was through these playground social hours that I came to learn more about Sean—the boy I had stolen sideways glances of at our very first meeting. His mom had been a teacher at the preschool for years, and I knew her from when I worked at the daycare in high school. I suddenly remembered the boy who would walk over to his mom’s classroom after school and wait for a ride home while she and I chatted and she finished up her day. Turns out, we had attended the same elementary and high schools all along.

He was a senior in high school, three years my junior. So logically (I told myself over and over again) I thought of him as nothing more than a friend. We chatted about everything from hobbies, to music, to his high-school-sweetheart-girlfriend who was a freshman in college in North Dakota.

As the weeks drew on and many of us, Sean included, became better friends and spent a lot of time together outside of work, I found myself trying unsuccessfully to deny the fact that I may have had a little crush growing on this boy, who, did I mention, was in a relationship with his high school sweetheart?!?!

Then, sometime in late fall, it happened. My phone rang and on the other end Sean’s defeated voice announced that he and his girlfriend broke up. We spent that night with friends, me trying desperately to cheer him up and refusing to admit that I could be such an evil person that a tiny little part of me was happy about this.

He handled the breakup well, and it seemed as though our friendship only grew from there. We spent nearly every weekend together, and it soon became impossible to deny my feelings—to me or anyone else. One of my best friends, Molly, worked with us. By the time I was actually honest (with her and myself) about my feelings, she and I spent hours talking about what could possibly come of something between two people in such different places in life. He was in high school. I was looking forward to being legally allowed in bars. He was going away to college in less than a year. I was finally happy to be home again.

But sometimes things fall into place whether you expect them to or not; and life changes, whether you want it to or not. On a cold night in December, I hugged Sean goodbye outside my parents’ house and he kissed me. And I was forever changed.

We dated casually (and mostly in secret) throughout the winter. I spent a lot of time with his family, but we were still afraid of what they (or our coworkers) would think of him dating an “older woman.” Eventually, our relationship simply progressed into common knowledge and it seemed, for the most part, that no one judged us for the age gap. I even attended his senior prom—going back to my high school at 21 years old!

When it came time for him to leave for college, I was a mess. I was terrified about what the 150 mile difference would do to us. The day we dropped him off was bittersweet—he told me he loved me for the first time but I was still leaving him to an entirely different life. I’d be lying if I told you those 9 months were anything close to easy for us. But we saw each other as often as we could, sent cards and letters and packages to each other, and pushed through it. At the end of the school year, he decided to transfer to a school back home that had better options for his intended career in law enforcement.

Being in the same city definitely helped our relationship grow (though it certainly didn’t make us immune to challenges). In the fall of 2008, we moved in together, and in the spring of 2010, we bought our first home,

It’s been six and a half years since that day I walked back into my elementary school child care center and sat across the table from a high schooler who turned out to be my soul mate. In that time, we’ve gone to hell and back. We’ve survived long distances, tragedy and loss (including the unexpected death of his dad in 2009), and so many of life’s happiest and hardest moments. Having come this far, I’m convinced we can handle whatever might come our way. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us!

Life can feel unpredictable and undependable at times. And that’s usually what makes it so exciting. But sometimes it feels like it would just be nice to know how things turn out—to what when to expect something, to know that everything is going to turn out ok. And then I remember stories like ours.

It reminds me that things do work out. Hard times do get better. Doors open when you least expect it. Long, crummy winters someday have to turn to spring. And when life gets a little rocky or a little uncertain, it comes to serve as a much-needed reminder to keep pushing forward. We may feel defeated, but we must remember that life holds all sorts of surprises in its pocket. We can’t know how things turn out, but we can have faith that we are ready to take on what’s ahead. And even if it doesn’t feel like it now, there are sure to be great things ahead.


♥♥♥
Thanks again Kristin
♥♥♥