(I'm telling my Summer Camp Love Story this week. Click here to catch up on the action.)
Okay, I have to be honest. My parents would want you to know right-off that they were not mad at Dave. But, I do believe they would use the word "frustrated." And I'm also pretty sure that their frustration was more than half directed at me.
I've always had a close relationship with my parents, so they knew Dave and I were dating, and they knew it was getting serious. They planned a weekend vacation in Branson to coincide with the completion of my working terms at Kamp that summer, and I'd follow them back home in my car afterwards. Looking back, I wonder now if they planned that little vacation so they could meet the boy that I was gushing about over the phone.
They first met Dave standing in the Girls' Circle at Kanakuk, on the side of Kamp where Dave worked. They exchanged all the regular pleasantries when you first meet someone, and I'm sure they noticed right away Dave's quiet demeanor, as well as the way he smiled when he looked at me. We didn't visit long, but made plans for Dave to join us that evening for dinner in town. Dave helped them load up all my stuff into the trunk of my Honda, and my parents and I headed into town.
What I remember most about that afternoon with my family was not the shopping and and running around we did. I remember sitting in the backseat of my parents' car, telling them about some of the dates Dave had taken me on, and some of the sweet notes he'd sent me. I even remember my mom asking me, "Do you think you love him?" And answering her in a quiet, but sure voice, "Yeah, I do." I was glad to be in the backseat, where they couldn't see my pink cheeks.
That night my family and Dave gathered around a big round table at a Chinese restaurant. I don't remember a lot about the conversations around the table, because what happened later that night overshadows everything else in my memory.
Like most couples new in love, we wanted to spend every moment we could with each other. Especially knowing we were heading into a long-distance relationship when I left the next morning, Dave and I split apart from my family after dinner to spend a little more time together. We knew we didn't have long that night, so we decided to go get some frozen yogurt. We drove back to the motel where my family was staying, eating small bites of yogurt, and talking. Prolonging the inevitable--the leaving part--as long as we could. Dave pulled his Jeep into the motel parking lot, and neither of us made a move to leave.
We just sat and talked and talked, as the stars twinkled above us, and as the city quieted around us.
Our talking that night centered around the future, our future, and all of the unknowns ahead. My dad had mentioned at dinner that if we were serious, he wanted us to live in the same town for at least a semester before we were married. Since Dave had just gotten a teaching job in Texas, we began talking about which college I could transfer to in the Spring semester. I couldn't believe we were talking about such big, life-changing decisions already...but I was also grinning and thrilled to be talking that way, too. My heart was racing inside my chest, and I'm sure my face was flushed with excitement.
And strangely, even though we'd only been together a month-and-a-half at that point, I felt perfectly at peace with the future we were beginning to plan.
I don't know what happened to the time. I guess when you're re-arranging your entire future life, you don't pay much attention to your watch. Before we knew it, my watch said it was past midnight. Whoa. I knew my parents were probably waiting on me--especially since we said we'd be back soon. I also didn't have a room key. And remember--this was before cell phones. There was no calling my sister to have her quietly open the door for me. Nope, it was going to have to be an old-fashioned knocking of the door to get inside.
We knocked very quietly on my sister's room. It was only a couple of seconds before the door opened, and there stood my parents. Both of them, and wide awake. And looking at Dave for answers.
To be continued...