What a difference a decade makes.

Ten years ago, I spent Mother’s Day eating lunch with a bunch of strangers.

The Friday before Mother’s Day 2000, I offered to give a guy a ride to Austin. That guy was Matt. I had met him a few weeks prior and had invested most of the time since encouraging him to date my roommate. I thought that a three hour car ride where he couldn’t escape would be the perfect opportunity to tell him more about how perfect she was and what a great couple they’d make.

It’s funny how things don’t work out the way I plan them.

After spending an afternoon together on I-35, I dropped him off at his dad’s office, got back in the car and called home. I left a message for my roommate. It went like this, “Okay, so I need to tell you something. It turns out that Matt is the guy I’m going to marry. I hope that’s okay. Call me.”

Seriously. That’s how fast it happened.

Two days later I was headed back into Austin to pick him up at his grandmother’s house. A jumble of nerves, I was stressed just knocking on the door. In no frame of mind to meet his parents, much less his grandmother, I hoped to politely say hi and leave it at that.


He opened the door and invited me in. He said they hadn’t eaten lunch yet and I was welcome to join them. I remember stepping into a living room with my eyes glued to the floor. When I looked up, I saw a crowd. A whole room full of people that I didn’t know. Not only were his grandmother and parents there, but so was the rest of his extended family.

I wasn’t the fiance or the girlfriend. I was barely a friend at that point. But unbeknownst to him, I was already in love. Meeting his entire family was something I hoped to do someday. One, maybe two, people at a time. Instead I met them all, and while it was crazy intimidating at the time, I wouldn’t change it if I could.

Every Mother’s Day, I get to remember and celebrate what it was like to be welcomed to a dinner table.

Ten years ago, they were strangers. Today they’re all family that I dearly, dearly love.


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