Years before I met my husband, I worked as a teacher’s aide at a local middle school. My husband was a teacher at the time (at the same school), and for many years we were mere coworkers. Eventually I became a teacher too, and though Hank and I continued to work together, we were both romantically involved with other people. We would exchange morning hellos and waves down the hall, but that was the extent of our relationship.
And then it was as if we were suddenly part of a script; one in which someone was crafting a love story, and Hank and I were the main characters. Suddenly, we were both single and for the first time in seven years, the teacher down the hall caught my eye! Soon enough, our friendship-turned-courtship included little notes (delivered via our students) and small surprises left in each other’s mail boxes. I loved sending him tangelos (the world’s most delicious fruit!).
And then. Yep, you guessed it. Then came marriage. And then came baby in the baby carriage.
Years later when we moved into our first home, Hank took Alison to the local nursery and returned with the most thoughtful gift ever: a dwarf tangelo tree. They spent the day planting it in our backyard, and though the tree produced fruit the first year, it bore no fruit for nearly eight years. This year, though, we have a small crop of fruit. This morning Hank brought me the first tangelo of the season, and I ate it for breakfast.
It was delicious and homegrown. And grown out of love.