*edited a year later to correct some minor errors*
April 7, 1990. Saturday.
The week since the previous Friday, that unforgettable March 30, the day I met "him," was a time of discovery. It was not like the other times when I had simply fallen head over heels for a guy, it was much more "rational." Instead of floating away in the clouds I felt myself stepping on firmer and steadier ground. It was different.
We got to talk a lot, since we came back together from the university on the bus twice that week. The first time I was not expecting him and he surprised me at the bus stop, it was so cute! I went once to the elementary school during recess on purpose to see him (he was a math teacher then, his first year, his first two months, to be more exact), and when the weekend came we got to spend more time together and talk on Friday night and Saturday. I didn't write much about the the talking last time, but it was amazing... I mean, we just talked and talked about so many things and the conversation was so enriching, entrancing, even. I remember that on that March 30 we talked about the experience of going to the university and how that opened us up to the world, to life and its possibilities. Both of us had a very similar sheltered upbringing and we were amazed at how at ease we felt at the university.
When we talked, nothing mattered much, at least not those superficial things I used to pay attention before on cute guys - clothes they were wearing, hairstyle, etc. All I could see was his face and think about our words that communicated ideas, thoughts, feelings, impressions, and it definitely felt like we had so much to say to each other that all the time in the world would not be enough for it! (oh... how aware I am of that problem with time now that we have two kids! Now I really long for trips in the car so we can talk again uninterrupted for a few hours... [we're lucky that the boys are great on car trips]).
On that Saturday night we went to the school where he and my parents worked (a boarding academy and college) because they usually showed movies, but not on that night, so he walked me back home and we listened to my favorite tapes (we didn't have CDs yet back then). When it was time for him to go to his aunt's home I walked to the gate and he said that he really enjoyed spending time with me and whether I'd like to "officialize" our relationship* (i.e. be his girlfriend/ date him - namorar in Portuguese. ), and I answered without hesitation "Sure!!" ("Claro!").
I was reminded of that "sure" tonight when we were talking online and he asked our oldest son, whether he loved daddy, and our son gave the same response in a lively voice: "Sure!"/ "Claro!" And I thought, oh, yeah, you're your mama's son all right!
I guess now I need to pause my lovely story to explain that in Brazil it used to be that the hard thing to do was to ask to namorar (loosely translated as to date but not with the same meaning, since namorar implies a commitment, a more serious relationship), and there was never a formal marriage proposal. The way it worked there was that after the couple had been "dating" (namorando) for a while, they usually knew when they wanted to get married Then, there was a formal engagement party for the families (usually just parents and siblings on each side) when they exchanged their chosen wedding bands, only on the right hand instead of on the left. Then, a year or so later, they were married. That's how it was for me, but it is changing now [people are planning fancy ways of popping the question, which do not include families, just the couple -- although they still use the wedding band on the right hand] , of course, since all many Brazilians want to do is to imitate "the American way" :-)
What I didn't mention that took place that week and that was very meaningful, was that my mother found out that his aunt (less than two years younger then him) -- who had been my mom's secretary the year before -- had actually tried to set us up! She and her sister (his older aunt) were going to try to make us meet some time, and had even mentioned about me to him (he didn't know who I was, though, just that I was his aunt's teacher's daughter). I was amazed to discover that we had managed to meet on our own, without any interference, because I'm sure that it would have been a very awkward situation if we had been formally introduced to each other in that context. I was thankful for the way we met, and surprised that even though I had never heard of this guy before or seen him in my life, his aunts were already thinking that we were meant for each other! And they were right!
So here you have it. April 7 has always been a special day for us, our anniversary, the first, the "true" one. I do value our wedding anniversary, but March 30 - the day we met, and April 7 - the day we became a couple, are special days for me. I'm sorry that we have to be apart today, but at least I can share this story and record it "for posterity" here in the blog.
I said this post was a "continuation" and not an epilogue, so maybe I'll write more things about that "first year of the rest of our lives" together at another opportunity :-)
-> Next week there's the promised sequel to the birth story of March 9. Oh, I meant to put an old photo of us in this post, I'll add it later, OK?
* He literally said "Você gostaria de oficializar nosso relacionamento ?" -- that's so much like him, he always enjoys saying things differently, out of the box. (comment added on 4/7/07, one year later).
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