School Sweethearts

So, I suppose the story of me becoming a father, starts with me meeting the baby’s Mum, my wife.

So let’s start at the beginning. I hope you’re comfortable, this post is going to cover everything from us meeting up until our wedding day. That’s 10 years, as briefly as I possibly can.

It was Valentines Day, 2010, and me and about 30 other kids from my school were off on a trip to New York City. I had a large group of friends from my own year group also on the trip, and I didn’t know anyone from the other year groups. Among one of the people I didn’t know, was Jess, but that would soon change.

We boarded the coach in the very early hours of the morning to Manchester Airport, and headed off on our way. When we got there, we queued to check in, but there was a problem. The flight we were supposed to be on had already departed. Fortunately, it was the airline’s mistake as they had confirmed the incorrect time on the group booking, so they did everything they could to get us on a different flight. Our whole group were asked to wait out of the way in the check in hall while the school and airline staff tried to come up with a solution.

We waited there for 10 hours.

Luckily, I had brought my iPod docking station, which we set up, and started playing music and dancing. We entertained many travelers that were just passing through, and we kept our own spirits up in the process. Eventually we got news that we were confirmed on a flight the next day, and that we were staying in the airport hotel.

When we got to the hotel, the school staff had a lot to worry about including informing all of our parents of the situation, and update all the paperwork to ensure our large group trip was still legal and viable. So while this was happening, the group of kids were basically left to our own devices. This meant that most of us did not stick to our own bedrooms, but instead, formed little groups in different rooms where we all were just chatting and getting to know each other.

I was flitting between rooms, spending a little bit of time with everyone, until I got to one where I was comfortable. There were about 5 others in that room, all with great stories and conversation, but there was one I was fixated on. You guessed it, that was Jess. That very night, I told my best friend, who was on the trip with us, that I liked her, but at the time I didn’t know the feeling was mutual. I stayed up all night just talking to her, sharing stories and learning about her history. I was mesmerised.

So, we got to New York City. Our hotel was slightly outside of the city, so we had to wait in the lobby every morning until our shuttle bus arrived. This allowed me and Jess even more time to chat, and the bond grew stronger.

Day 3 on the trip, we went to a shopping outlet, and on the bus back at the end of the day, we were sat next to each other. And Jess kissed me. Then, that very night, we went to the Empire State Building observatory, and we went ice skating on the Rockerfeller, so let’s just say our first dates were very memorable.

People doubted our relationship, saying that it was just a holiday romance, it will pass. Sure, we have been through some difficult times, but who hasn’t? And we proved them all wrong.

We developed an affinity for travelling, and in the following years we went around Europe, all over the UK, and in 2017 we even went back to America. We stayed with family in North Carolina, and more family in Maryland, driving up the east coast in a hire car, stopping at Washington DC, and finally ending in New York again.

It was amazing to be back. We got to do so much that we wanted to do before, but weren’t able to due to the confines of the “stick together rule”. This time, we were in charge. We could do what we wanted, when we wanted, all without a curfew.

We had been together for 7 years. Proposing was definitely on my mind. We were in the city where our love began, and we had all this time. But I decided against it, as I thought it would have been too predictable.

But then, on 8th August, 2017, we went back to the Empire State Building, where it all began. We were up there a short while, before Jess then asked me, “What would you say if I asked you to marry me?”.

I responded, “I’d say no, because you don’t have a ring.” And then there it was, she pulled out a ring. Jess had beat me to it, waving the flag for equality.

In 2018, we moved out of our parent’s house, and we started planning a 2020 wedding. And that leads us to this year.

As a gift for our wedding, Jess created a video for me showing our adventures and our relationship growing from day one. It sums up everything up until our wedding, so I have shared it here.

Please enjoy.

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