How I Met Your Father

Dear Kaden,

Love is a funny thing.

It has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, or when you need it the most. It never seems to come when you’re looking, and it never seems to show up in the manner you had imagined.

It has a way of changing everything, and making you blind and deaf to everything but your sweetie.

Love can bring you to the highest levels of euphoria, and drop you to the heaviest, most crushing pit of despair and pain.

It is so unpredictable, but when you find it, my dear son, I hope you hold on and never let go.

When I found your father, it pulled me from the life I knew and dropped me into a whirlwind of unknowns (and I am sure by now you have picked up on the fact that I hate the not knowing, and it drives your dad crazy).

So how did I meet your father, and why did I uproot everything to be with him? Let me tell you the story.

Everyone always asks me how I met my husband. He grew up in Oklahoma while I grew up in California. Here’s our story, written for my son.

It’s hard to know exactly where to start with our story, because so many things had to have happened in order for the stars to align, and your father and I to meet.

For my part of the story, the chain of events started as far back as when I was 8 years old, when my parents divorced. It’s crazy to think that had they stayed married, your father and I may never have met.

I won’t bore you with all the specifics, because it wasn’t until another 7-8 years later that your father and I talked for the first time. Here is a condensed version of the next few years:

A little while after your grandparents divorced, your grandma went to work for a mortgage company (which she still works at in 2018). There, she had a coworker with a young daughter who needed a babysitter in the summer and holiday breaks from school.

When I was a preteen, I babysat the little girl. Your grandma dropped me off at her coworker’s house in the mornings and then went to work with her coworker. The little girl didn’t wake up for about 2 hours after I arrived, and I got in the habit of watching TV in the mornings. This is how I discovered my high school obsession: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the one with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy. There’s supposed to be a reboot in the works which my inner nerd is upset about…that’s not the one I watched, and still own on DVD.)

I’m not kidding when I call my love of Buffy as an obsession. I rewatched the episodes again and again, I wrote Buffy fanfiction, I made Buffy fan videos/ music videos, I had online friends to roleplay our own Buffy stories with, I designed Buffy graphics in Photoshop, I bought and read “official” Buffy books, I had deep and philosophical discussions about Buffy with my peers. I’m telling you, I was obsessed.

Thanks to my obsession, I met a few good friends in a Buffy fan club online. One day, we took our conversation from the fan club thread to on an instant messenger service, called America Online Instant Messenger (AIM), so we could include a couple more people that weren’t part of the club.

At this point, I believe I was about 15 years old (maybe 14). One of the girls in the group chat and I clicked, and we moved to a private message so we didn’t have to fight to keep up with our conversation among the group.

We’ll refer to the girl I met in the chatroom as “Amy” for privacy’s sake.

Amy and I quickly became great friends; one could even say best friends. We talked on AIM every day, we texted some (back then, texting wasn’t unlimited. You actually had to pay per text if you went over your limit), and we talked on the phone when it was free, which meant nights and weekends (phone calls weren’t unlimited either).

As it turns out, Amy knew your dad in person, though I’ll have to let him explain how.

Amy and your dad were friends, and they hung out sometimes. One weekend in particular, they went to a monster truck rally. When the rally was over, Amy called me to tell me about it on the way home.

You know your dad can talk to anyone about anything, no matter if he’s met them before or not.

He took the phone from Amy and introduced himself to me over the phone.

“Hi! I’m Chris, Amy’s friend. Who are you?”

“Krysta, Amy’s friend from California.”

“You live in California! How cool!”

I was 15 or 16 years old, and that was the first conversation I had with your father. It was a short one, as he gave the phone back to Amy relatively quickly, but I’ll never forget it.

When they got home, your dad found me on social media (back then, we used a social media website called MySpace) and on AIM, thanks to Amy’s help.

Son, I didn’t know what to think at first.

I went ahead and added him to my friends list, because he had been nice on the phone, but I was a bit surprised that he looked me up. We didn’t have a deep, meaningful conversation, we talked for maybe 2 minutes tops.

But alas, that’s your father.

During the summer of 2007, Amy came to California with her mom and aunt for Comic-Con. We spent an extended weekend together and soaked in everything Comic-Con had to offer (including plenty of Buffy memorabilia).

When the weekend ended, Amy’s mom invited me to fly out to Oklahoma the next summer, because even though Oklahoma isn’t the most exciting state, I rarely left California (and even then, it was usually to Arizona or Nevada) and I wanted to see what it was like.

Months after Comic-Con, Amy and I hit a point where our friendship died and we broke all ties.

Rather than abandoning me and deciding to only remain friends with Amy since he had known her much longer than he had known me, your dad reached out to me and said that he still wanted to be my friend.

Amy had been my nearest and dearest friend, and honestly, the end of our friendship had left a sort of hole. Your dad did his best to step in and help me heal, and maybe that’s when I started falling in love with him. He knew that Amy’s family had offered their home to me to come visit, and so he offered up his, even though we hadn’t met in person before and weren’t even that close yet.

During my senior year of high school, your dad and I became close friends. We emailed every day, we texted, we called, we made silly videos for one another.

I remember one day, your Grandma Gail told me that if we lived in the same state, your dad and I would be dating. I looked at her like she had a horn growing out of her forehead.

The summer of 2008 changed my life forever.

By this point, I had a crush on your dad. His family was planning a vacation, and your dad was sneaky enough to suggest California, because he wanted to come see me in person. Your Papa Jesse and Nana Debbie loved the idea, so they packed up in the car and drove out to California.

The first time I met your dad in person, was standing outside of the San Diego Zoo. That day, I met your dad, Papa Jesse, Nana Debbie, and Aunt Chelsea. We spent the day at the zoo, and at the end of the day I knew I liked your dad a lot, and that my mom was probably right.

Your dad met Grandma Gail in person that weekend, and she told me that if I wanted to go to Oklahoma, I could go.

Two months after your dad’s trip, I flew to Oklahoma for the first time, for an extended weekend. Little did I know, that trip was only the beginning of years of back and forth.

On August 7th, 2008, your daddy asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes.

We were a long distance couple for two years, flying back and forth as often as we could afford. It was hard, but we knew it was right, so we kept at it. Your Grandma Jeanette loved me, your Grandma Gail loved your daddy, and they knew it was meant to be, too.

On September 2nd, 2010, your father flew out to California to surprise me with an engagement ring. We had been talking about who would move and what our lives would look like together, and your dad wanted me to know he was serious.

I graduated from college (the first time) in June, 2011 and I moved to Oklahoma just a few days later. I left behind everything I knew and everyone I loved to make a new life in Oklahoma, and I was terrified, but I knew your father would be beside me the entire time.

On September 17, 2011 your daddy and I got married.

The reason I wrote this for you, Kaden, is to show you that life is very unpredictable, and wonderful things can come from the dark moments in your life.

When your Grandma Gail and Grandpa Mike divorced, it was confusing and hard on me. When Amy and I stopped being friends, I was broken.

Had those two moments not happened, I don’t know that your father and I would have met.

Pain doesn’t mean it’s the end. Pain can be used as a tool to grow. It hurts while it’s happening, I understand and I know that in the moment, it feels like the world is ending and nothing will ever be good again.

I promise you, that with all the pain I’ve ever experienced, it came to an end, and something beautiful came out of it.

When you were in the NICU after you were born, I thought I would be in pain every day for the rest of my life. I was scared all the time, I cried every day, I felt like the darkness would swallow me. But then, you got better, and we got to bring you home.

Now we’re a happy, whole family together, and the pain ended. I still get scared sometimes, but that’s just part of being a parent. I still cry, but it’s okay to cry, and sometimes they’re happy tears. The darkness may be around sometimes still, but I’m basking in the light, rather than drowning in the dark.

As I type this (using only my right hand), I’m holding you close in my left arm, bouncing you to help soothe you because you’ve been sick and you haven’t been feel well.

Life is good. The storm doesn’t last forever, and you will feel happiness again.

So, my son, when things get hard for you and life doesn’t go the way you imagined, just breathe, and roll with it. Your daddy and I will be there every step of the way to see you through.

We love you so, so much.


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