It all began one night at dinner, unexpectedly abandoned by our usual riotous crew.
We ate as friends, in jovial, easy conversation, and yet a sudden possibility sharpened the air. Instead of parting ways, we decided to walk, crunching through ice and salt and snow to obtain a ridiculous movie.
Which we watched as friends.
And another, and a third, each increasingly bizarre, yet we scarcely noticed, focused as we were on perhaps. Eventually the occasion arose for indignant tickling, which broke the stalemate of lying head to toe, and maybe opened swiftly into most definitely.
Longevity was unlikely — we were parting ways in a few months’ time — but we drank deeply of our diminishing days and love defiantly sauntered in, uninvited, unwavering.
When the time came to separate, our bodies did, but our hearts stubbornly cleaved.
So we made new plans, and spun them out in dreams coiled around telephone wires of lonely longing punctuated all too briefly by dizzying euphoria until a year had finally passed.
We built our nest and learned to live in it, to cook and garden in it, to make music in it, to fight and to reunite in it. We learned how to shed our false best selves and how to climb out of our worst selves, and then we would forget and have to learn anew.
When the challenge of that endless dance seemed to be on the road to mastery, we decided to gamble it all on the brilliant chance of so-much-more, and with startling beginner’s luck created life on the very first try.
Sometimes it feels like our story begins that day she took her first breath, that day her tiny body melted into your chest and permanently rearranged your heart.
But as free time comes again, in drips and drabs, we begin to recover the selves we nearly left behind that day we became parents.
This is the story of how we became us. It all began one night at dinner, more than twelve years ago.
Happy birthday, my love.