• Laura

It All Started in a Parking Lot

“Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked.

“No,” she answered.

The football game ended and as the parking lot emptied, they danced.

He knelt down on the ice of an outdoor skating rink while lights twinkled above. She almost missed answering his question because the ring fell out of the box and slid across the ice.

He rescued the ring, the same one her grandmother had worn, and placed it on her finger.

He wouldn’t tell her where he was taking her when they left the ice skating rink. He had one more surprise in store—a secretly planned party to celebrate their engagement.

She started the Pinterest board she’d been dreaming of. They visited venues and tasted cakes.

It was a hot August day when they said “I do”; her father walked her down the aisle of the church she sat in every Sunday morning of her childhood, and she walked back out as a wife.

Their first dance was to the same song they danced to in the empty parking lot, the night they met.

On their first anniversary, they dug the wedding cake out of the freezer and toasted with sparkling grape juice—she was already a stepmother, but in a few more months she would be a mother.

It’s been a decade since the first time they danced in the parking lot. These days, they dance in the kitchen with little boys underfoot—leaving the house for date night is a distant memory.

They’ve built a life together. It’s laundry and grocery lists, stepping over Hot Wheels and Legos on the floor, choosing each other over and over, knowing and being known.

His smile still makes her heart flutter.

This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in this series "280 Words".

Art by Phoenix Feathers Calligraphy for Exhale

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