My daughter went on her first vacation this weekend. I packed up all her most precious things, and some tears- I sent her off. I heard her say my name tonight when she came home, I grabbed Josh’s hand and we ran all the way upstairs- and there she was, walking around and looking for me. Then? A squeal. I don’t have to explain to other parent’s out there the incredible lightness at seeing your child’s face brighten at the site of you- the weak-in-the-knees-feeling that engulfs your entire body. She ran into me, and I sank into the floor, her arms outstretched, and my face buried in her. We sat there for maybe a few minutes, and she kept pulling away and coming back in to hug me. This is the same child who screams, ‘MOMMY!’ when I step away from the shopping cart, or turn my back. I always tell her, “I would never, ever, leave you. That would be impossible. I am your mommy!” And that settles her. I whispered in her ear, “I love you, welcome home!”

We sat on the couch, she sang me, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy,” to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb. (We worked on the words, but the mommy version was way better- I’ll admit.) I snuck glances over to my favorite counterpart, and we smiled- I missed her so much.

I had a fantastic weekend, despite missing the best part of me. We spent the mornings sleeping in, making breakfast, and we spent the nights giggling as we reorganized my closet, (him laughing on top of a pile of clothes I chucked at him,) and me positively, beaming. No one has ever made me laugh so much, and he says, “This is it, don’t you run- we will be forever.”

Last night, was one of those nights I’ll remember until my dying day. We dressed up for a fancy dinner out on the town, (his idea- because he’s half-Katie and can read my mind.) We drove downtown, and I wore a strappy pink number, with the pink heels I’ve been dying to wear for FOUR years. (I finally found the perfect dress to wear them with.) He looked incredible in his suit. We had an incredible dinner, (minus the raw fish on my ordinarly perfect salad,) and we smiled as we walked hand in hand. We’ve had our argue points, especially this weekend- they seemed to pop up out of nowhere, where we could look at each other and say after, “That was silly,” which makes me feel like maybe for once, something could be unbreakable. Who could be that lucky, right?

I was thinking, that maybe you have the moments of greatness with not so perfect guys, so when someone comes along you can perfect the already great, and create memories that last forever. We walked at my favorite park after, all dressed up, and my heels dangling from my right hand. We saw the ducks, and the gondola and swung in the seatee swing until we decided to keep going. He stopped with me under the lights and we danced to a song that I suppose both of us knew, but which we never shared. These are what perfect moments are made of- the smell of fresh, cut, summer grass in the air, and pavement under your feet- your dress rustling in the breeze and someone holding tightly to your hand, and stealing kisses along the path. We stopped by the grocery store for bacon, (what is a proper breakfast without bacon?)

Finally- my perfect summer, and not because of him, (although he was the perfect addition.) It was because of me- spending my days playing softball, swimming or long walks. It’s the summers we forget that we had as children- the constant playing, the running and the dreams we conjure up in our heads. I suppose in a way, I allowed myself to be little again- and enjoy, and he helped bring back my childhood dreams.

Everyone asks, if this it? I say- it’s just the beginning.