When I was 8 years old my mom ran a day care out of her home. One day, the cutest little girl came to the day care with her brother, and it was love at first sight, as least as much as is possible for an 8-year-old to be in love. We went to the same grade school, we walked home together, and we became best friends.
After about a year my family moved to Maine. On the day we said goodbye, my best friend was inconsolable. Totally sincere, I said to her, "Don't cry; if you wait for me, I'll come back and marry you some day." We kept in contact by letters, which became more frequent as we got older.
Nine years later, after high school, I returned to southern California and reconnected with my childhood sweetheart. After a dizzying 1-year courtship, we were married. I was 18, she was 17. Everyone told us how foolish we were. But we were young and stubborn. We went to college together, graduated, and both of us became high school teachers.
We are still teachers and have raised four beautiful daughters. This summer we will celebrate 34 years married, and I'm more in love than ever. Fairy tales still do come true. I would sure appreciate it if you could play Dan Fogelberg's song "Longer" and dedicate it to Tammy, the love of my life.