Here Come the Brides! The Engagement, Part 1
This is the third post in the “Here Come the Brides!” series, following my adventures with Casey to the aisle. If you missed them, here’s the story of how we met, and here’s how we knew this was The One and what we love to do together.
Today’s post is our (first) engagement story!
We knew by the second day we were together, this was it. By the second week we were together, we both admitted it to each other. We’d both been skeptical of the idea that “when you know, you know,” but we knew.
Since I was sure about her, I decided it was time to introduce Casey to my children. I wasn’t nervous—she’s the best possible mixture of big kid and authoritative parent, exactly what our family needed—and I thought they would like her right away. She played tag and mermaid and swim-race with my four girls in the pool, and she talked to my son like she really saw him, right where he was between childhood and adulthood, and I knew I was right.
Since our family had been fractured by the painful and necessary split between the kids’ dad and me, we had been aching for a salve. We found her.
Casey had always wanted children, but by almost 30, there hadn’t been the right time or way. But organically, seamlessly, she began to love and care for these five children as her own. And they began to love her back. They even called her “Mama.”
The Engagement, Part 1: I asked her to be my family
It was just three months after we met, but we were already sure about each other and our future. So when I took Casey on a 30th birthday getaway, I had a special plan.
A couple of months before her birthday, we were holding hands and she complimented me on a ring I was wearing. It was an old family ring from Edwardian-era Spain that my cousin gave me when I met him over there. The three stones were long-since missing, likely diamonds harvested in a dire time, and it was a little bent out of shape. Truth be told, it reminded me a lot of myself after an intense year of personal struggle. But it was beautiful, and it held special meaning to me.
So for her 30th, I took the ring to a local jeweler, who fixed the shape, polished it, and added sapphire stones, because blue is her favorite (and mine, too). Then, on the first night of her birthday trip, before we went out for dinner and dancing, I asked her to come sit with me on our hotel bed. (I had wanted to do this down by the waterfront at sunset, but we ran out of time, as is usually the case with anything involving my getting dolled up.)
I was so nervous, not because of what she might say, but because I wanted what I said to come out just right. I had asked all of my kids if it would be okay to officially ask her to be a part of our family, and they had given me their blessing; now I just had to ask her. I gave her the small box and told her to open it.
When she saw the ring, I asked her if she would be a part of our family, and I asked if she recognized the ring. She remembered the ring and what it meant to me, and she knew what she meant to me: She said “Of course.”
The rest of the weekend was a natural high. We luxuriated over a meal and laughed our minds out over the incredibly odd presentations of our waiter. We danced late into the night in the center of a crowded room and only ever saw each other. And then on our last day, heading home, we stopped by an estate jeweler just to browse. Except that’s not what happened at all…