Sunday, February 25, 2007

"How's Emily's Hand Like a Lemon Pie?"

"It's got meringue on it!"

On Saturday, January 13, I secretly canceled Emily's 8am breakfast appointment, and woke her at 7 (much to her confusion) to "tell her stories"--moments and memories from our time together, like camping with friends last May, watching her as she took photographs in Athens this summer, reading aloud from the novel You Shall Know Our Velocity! with her brother and sister at Thanksgiving. Emily says it was about halfway through the stories, as she began to notice their chronological progression through the months and seasons of our relationship, and as she became more fully awake, that she began to wonder exactly why I was there. Was it really just to tell her stories? But she quickly reprimanded herself for getting her hopes up, because she "knew" I didn't have a ring. But when she sat up on her bed and realized I was kneeling beside her, fumbling with something in my pocket...

Last year Jarissa, one of my first graders, six years old going on seventeen, beckoned me over with her little index finger to where she was standing on the third step outside St. Sylvester school.
--Mr. Anderson, do you want to get married someday?
--To you?
--No, to someone else.
--Well, probably.
--Okay, here's what you do (leans forward and lowers her voice): Make her laugh, make her smile, send her flowers, and... just do nice things with her. And then after a while, you buy her a beautiful ring, and...
--And then we're married?
--No, then you're engaged.

...then began a joyful day of announcements, by phone and in person, at the end of which Emily and I were too exhausted to do anything but sit on a couch and watch a movie--something we almost never do.

We will be married in Racine, Wisconsin, on Friday, July 20, 2007.