R: "Will you marry me?"
A few weeks ago, Rob mentioned that he wanted to visit the rock where we'd first kissed while we were in Billings before Christmas. After a long silence, I said, "You know that's pretty obvious, right? What about 'no big decisions until after Christmas?' You're not going to, you know, blow our timetable?"
"Huh," said Rob, "You think you're so smart. What if my plan was to get you up there, kiss you again, then get back in the car and leave?"
"So you're saying that you are now toying with me?"
"Maybe. Quit thinking about it, and it won't drive you crazy. And I'm not obvious."
"Fine," I said, with a heavy sigh. "I will stop thinking about it. What's the weather like there?"
Cut to today. We're on our way past the house where lies the rock upon which we enjoyed our first kiss, headed to Molt for breakfast with Molly and JR. There's a great little place that way that has live bluegrass music on Saturday mornings, and we'd been planning this for at least a month. I knew that Rob was still intending to visit the rock, that he'd cleared it with the owners of the home (thanks Pollard family!), and that Molly and JR knew we'd be pausing briefly there.
We climbed the snowy hill, slipping a little, with me painfully aware of the fact that Blake, Molly, and JR were all waiting in the car, watching us. Rob helped me up the rock (slick with snow and sub-zero temperatures), we kissed and looked around a bit, and I bent down to tie his boot, which had come unlaced. When I stood up, he went down on one (cold) knee and held up a ring, then asked me if I'd agree to marry him.
I burst out laughing, then said, "Yes, yes... a thousand times: yes!"
Or not. But I did laugh and agree, then threatened to knock him off the rock for being such a sneaky sneakerton. He was tickled that his boot had come unlaced accidentally, because me tying it gave him the unexpected chance to get the ring out of his pocket. We slid our way back down the hill to find everyone (the Pollard family, JR, Molly, and Blake) inside, with JR having captured much of what was visible on his camera.
What was visible: us from the waist down.
We entered into the warmth of congratulations and hugs, and I eventually got the chance to bend down and talk to Blake. "Rob asked me if he could be your new daddy. I said yes. What do you think of that?"
Blake looked down shyly, then turned and threw his arms around Rob's knees, nodding happily.
In some regards, I've been expecting this (Rob and I have been talking marriage and are reading a great 'marriage prep' book), so it's anticlimactic. In other regards, Rob really did surprise me, and my heart's been playing catch-up to the shock.
Rob is an amazing man. I haven't scared him off, despite my best efforts to do so simply by revealing myself honestly. He knows me, deeply and truly... and he loves me anyway. The more you know me, the more you should respect him. I love him more than words can say, and I can finally see what a friend's father told me a few years ago, very soon after Blake had died:
"You might not be ready to hear this (I wasn't): It won't be the same. Things will never be the same. But they can be better."
And I've discovered that this is true in ways that do not reflect poorly on the character of the dear man whose name my son shares. God is so weird. And God is so good.