It’s been 241 years to the day since Paul Revere reportedly rode towards Lexington declaring, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”
There is some debate as to whether or not he actually said those words. I don’t know for sure and since it wasn’t live streamed on social media or captured on an iPhone we will just have to let the legend live on and live on it did a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night.
The kids and I were at home and they were anxiously awaiting the arrival of mom’s new boyfriend. (They’d met before, approval had already been given, and they had spent a good portion of the day arguing about who would get to play with him first….clearly I wasn’t the winner.) As Ian’s car pulled into the driveway Aidan started screaming, “The British are coming, the British are coming!”
The others quickly joined in, the younger two most likely completely unaware of the comedy. They just wanted to join in the moment and out-shout their brothers while joining in the pre-Ian festivities. They yelled to duck and cover and plotted an attack. I was completely amused. I smiled, I laughed, I probably got butterflies because British was about to walk through my door.
I first saw Ian standing at a parking meter in a parking lot. Well, that is not the first time I saw him … I’d seen him many times before but in that moment I didn’t know that. Perhaps it is better to say it was the first time I noticed him.
I was working and heading into a press conference. I did not want to be there. I had a shoot already set up for the day, an intimate one on one with a heroin addict entering recovery. An email informed me earlier that morning that we would have to cancel my shoot because we needed to cover a hearing with Sandy Hook families trying to sue a gun manufacturer. I’ve always found Sandy Hook stories to be difficult to cover, as I believe most reporters here in Connecticut do. Again, I did not want to be there.
But there I was and there he was. A handsome man paying for parking. Dark jacket, short salt and pepper hair. There was something about him and I got lost in the moment, feeling like I needed to know more about him. As I headed into the building which had several floors, I found myself hoping I would see him inside. I thought, “Please be a lawyer, please be a lawyer, please be lawyer…”
He’s not a lawyer. I didn’t really want him to be a lawyer. I’ve dated lawyers. I’m all set in that department. I just didn’t want him to be one of the families. He’s one of the families. As he walked into the room and I saw him again I got that same strange feeling of needing to know more. I was drawn to him for reasons I couldn’t understand at that time. (And I hadn’t even heard the accent yet.)
Falling in love at almost 40 is so much different from falling in love at 16, 19, 22, 29, or 36. (Yep … that about sums them up.) Falling in love at almost 40 has made me question whether or not I was in love at 36. (And I now know for sure love at 16 and 19 is young love which is not nearly the same as grown-up love, in any form.) I don’t think we can define it as loving someone more or loving someone less but I think for us to find it again after losing it, it has to be bigger. It has to be deeper. At 40 we bring so much more to the table and in our cases some of what we bring would be enough to make others turn and run. We aren’t running. Instead we are learning and embracing and experiencing someone new in ways unique only to us.
We’ve talked about the times we were so close to one another but our paths were not ready to collide. I have a photo of him from that day at the presser … he hates it because of where he was at that time and I love it because for me it was the start of us and not the continuation of something else.
On the way down I am learning that I am so glad he’s not a lawyer and I was brazen enough to pursue that moment and feeling in the parking lot.
Falling at almost 40 has been different for the kids as well. Maybe it is because they sense the difference in me this time around. Maybe it is because they are older. Maybe it is because of what we all bring to the table and hope to add to it. Maybe it’s because of his accent.
They seem excited. There is laughter, there are games. Zachary likes him. Zachary doesn’t like anyone. They all try to talk like Ian and we’re keeping tabs on British expressions that we learn everytime he is here. (My list is a little differerent than theirs …)
I’ve learned enough to know that nothing is guaranteed. I suppose everything could crumble apart at any moment but I promised myelf to write honestly and so I am. I hope it doesn’t. I’d like to think that life has taught us the key to falling is never to let yourself hit the bottom.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s tea time.