Call me a romantic, or call me an optimist, call me whatever you want, but I believe in love. I have always believed in it, even though it was not easy to come by as a child. I grew up with parents who weren't in love, or if they were, they sure didn't know how to show it. They fought continuously, often sending me to my room seeking immediate shelter from the raging war. Sometimes the fighting got so bad that I would sit in my walk in closet reading books or listening to music, just so I could put myself in another world. My parents weren't so good about showing love to me or my sisters either, we didn't hug or kiss or tell each other of our feelings very often. We were not really a family unit, we were more like individuals living under the same roof. There was also not much praise for things that we did well, if there was any at all. Getting good grades or behaving well was more expected than appreciated and we only did it in order not to get into trouble.
Even through all that, I continued to believe in love, even believing in love at first sight. Maybe it was the only way I could get through life, believing that some day I would be able to give and receive pure, honest love. It was my biggest wish as a child and I dreamed of it often. Maybe that was also the reason that I read love story after love story, hoping and believing that those stories could come true.
When I was 16 years old I met the man that made all those hopes and dreams finally come to life for me. I was head over heels in love with this teenager, he was everything that I had always wanted and even more. I was crazy about him and he was crazy about me too and we spent every waking moment together. We were inseparable.
My mother told us were were silly and that we would never last, but maybe that was because she didn't believe in true love. We believed in it with all of our hearts and we also proved to others that it was real by lasting many more years than anyone expected us to. In fact, we are still together almost 15 years later. We grow together, we mature together, and most of all we change together. I think that's what is most important, that no matter how much either of us change, we are okay because we change together. Love makes you ignore all the changes, or even embrace them, and continue on throughout life unharmed.
Now that we have children, I believe in love more than ever before. I also believe that we as people need it like we need oxygen or food, it is essential. Our children thrive with our love for them, but also with our love for each other as well. They are smart and courteous and kind, they have good hearts and healthy bodies. They have self confidence and confidence in the world around them, not being afraid to go out and try anything. I believe our love has given them the skills that they need to survive and the confidence to live and find love of their own. Someday, when they are older, they will find love and get married and I hope that they find love as true as their parents' love. I know they will find true love because I believe in love and I've lived it and I've breathed it and taken it into my soul for almost fifteen years now. I have lived off of it, love or the hope of love has fed me for my entire life. Love has given me what I've needed to be confident and strong and able, and I will continue to believe in it for the rest of my life. Yes, I would call myself a romantic!