I'm Putting laundry away, he's in the corner near the window sliding into his new Wranglers. He slips a belt around through the loop-holes and clasps the two ends together with a giant belt buckle that he found on the clearance rack at the Big R in town. After he buttons up that red collared shirt and tops it off with his new white cowboy hat, he turns to me and says it...
"So what do ya think?"
Turning my head from a set of dresser drawers, I scan the new him...
And I role my eyes.
"Since when are you a cowboy?"
Him and I, we met when we were twelve. He had bleached blonde hair, spiked up in some kind of expensive hair gel. On most days you could catch him in a pair of board shorts with a skater t-shirt on top. We grew up in a small beach town where surf PE somehow qualified as an academic course. Now, twenty years later, we're standing in our farm house bedroom and I've got a scowl on my face looking at the man that hardly exemplifies the boy I once knew.
No...This man I now see in front of me ignores my sharp attitude and puts that goofy grin on his face that lightens my soul in an instant. I try my hardest to keep my angry smirk, but how can a woman not smile at a man who slides his grease-stained, worn man-hands onto her child-bearing hips and looks straight into her and declares all happy,
"I was always meant to be a cowboy."
Something inside of me think that maybe he really was meant to be a cowboy.
But I'm not always sure what to do out here in the sticks, in our new lives, in this new skin. So last Thursday, I lay it all out on the table to a wise friend and she laughs and slips in those wisdom words,
"Oh honey, sometimes you just gotta role with it."
That same day he calls me from work and says he's gone and got tickets.
Tickets to what?
Why none other than the Pikes Peak Rodeo...
It actually sounds like a blast but so far from the him and I that I've known for the past twenty years.
On the outside he's traded his board shorts for a pair of wranglers and added a little flare to his belt with an enormous belt buckle and I'm still not sure what to think of it all. But The thing is, when you live a life-time with the one you gave you're forever love to, you get the privilege of walking through their stages.
And that's just it... it really is a privilege. To know someone and all the paths they've walked, all the fashion statements they've made, all the mistakes HE'S redeemed them from, all the the people they've lost, and all the dreams they've lived.
To wrap my arms around a man who gives all sides of his love...
In wranglers or not, I have still have these moments in my days when I stand out on the front porch and see him standing out in the field, leaning on one hip, his treasures close by eating ice cream on the driveway.
I see him out there in that hat & those boots... Him and Michael, looking hard into that rocket, piecing it together in hopes that it might fly.
Everyone backs away... and the launch.
We all look high into the sky, our eyes scanning the clouds in search of a tiny speck.
And my Joey, well it appears that he actually does believe in giving high-fives... (hehe:)
And as we journey through this messy-beautiful life I can't always bank on the way I feel about his hat or his boots, but the one thing I can bank on is what I know to always be true... People are always changing... how boring if we spent all our years staying the same.
And sometimes, the greatest gifts we can give, are to just role with it.
Who knows, when he slips off those boots for the night and hangs his cowboy hat up on the hook in the closet, you might even find that this whole new side of him makes you wanna kiss him in the dark. :)