Hey Dad – When did you know?

One doesn’t expect to get asked deep philosophical questions about life when cleaning a horse stall, but when you have teenagers, you never know. “Dad, when did you know that mom was one for you?” 

My first reaction was that someone fell in love without me having a clue, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. But it made me take a moment and think because, truth be known, I hadn’t thought about it in quite a while. I guess I knew the first time I saw her; I told one of my friends in graduate school, probably just a couple of weeks after I met her, that I was going to marry that girl. She had it all – pretty, smart, killer smile, likes cattle, believes in God, had big dreams for the future fairly early on. But it was those moments where she made me laugh or made me think, and mostly those moments where she made me want to be a better person, that made it clear. 

Sadly, I told him, I probably knew long before she did. The key wasn’t knowing, the key was convincing her. He laughed as I told him love is nothing more than a choice, and the key is getting two people to make the same decision at the same time. 

Nothing more was said and we went on mucking stalls in silence. As he was heading out the barn with the wheelbarrow, I told him when the day comes you know for certain, promise me that you will take a moment and memorize why.  “Whatever, dad,” he said.

That is when I realized the question should have been when did you forget? 

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