So, there I was… (That’s the beginning of every fantastic story if you’re a member of the Akers family. We use that prompt to entertain each other and tell countless stories. Sorry for the brief interruption — Back to the story.)

By-line credit to my girls for helping tell the story. Thanks to K. Akers and C. Akers.

Beautiful moments. So here we are, gathered around the table, having just consumed a healthy meal and everyone craves a good story. The girls want to know how Clay and I first met. I tell the story a little like this. He is the sexiest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s my freshman year of college and he is a friend of my friend, so I think I have an inside track for a chance to date him. He enters the ballroom for the concert and steals my breath while quickening my pulse. I remember everything about him. He wears a beige cable knit sweater with a jean jacket over top, rolled up to three-quarter length sleeves. A backward newsboy cap matched his sweater. His dark blue jeans stand out in my mind. And, his wallet chain stands out like stars shine against a dark midnight sky on a clear night. The black combat boots pull together the whole outfit.

Digging the look

I dig him in the way chicks dig bad boys, and no parents would want their daughter to date the image of this kid. The first time I see him the stars glisten in my eyes — magical!”

I look over at my daughters. The girls giggle and hide behind their fists.

My older daughter looks horrified. “So let me get this straight,” she said. “Dad was wearing a collared shirt with suspenders, he had a bowtie, and matching plaid slacks, and black velcro shoes with a pair of black horn-rimmed glasses taped together in the middle with masking tape topped off with a pocket protector and some freckles? ” finished my older one.

The younger grabs her tablet and shows us a picture. They agree. Dad looks like this.

“Is that really how you think I looked?” my husband wonders. “Maybe,” replies my older mischievously.

“How does Mom look?”

“Her hair is done up really pretty. She wears a red, strapless, form-fitting dress. Diamond earrings grace her ears and five-inch heels are strapped to her feet. She has the star quarterback at her side and dances like a movie star.” says the older (K).

“Mom looks like this.” The younger shares another picture from her tablet.

K continued, the story…

The whole roomed stops to watch as they dance. Halfway through the dance, Dad’s date abruptly stops “dancing”, and exclaims, “I forgot to do the extra credit for algebra!” As quickly as “Cinderella” leaves the ball she’s gone, running out of the dance. Safely back in her dorm room, she flings herself across her bed for the hope of extra credit. Dad stands around kicking rocks, bummed his date ditched him.

A chance meeting

On her way to the punch bowl, Mom spots Dad, feeling bad for him. “May I have this dance?” she asks. Mom’s date sees Mom dancing with Dad and gets jealous. The star quarterback returns to the scene, throwing his weight around and shoving Dad to the floor.

“Hey Shrimp!” says the football player. “Leave my girl alone!”

“No, you leave him alone!” says Mom. “All you’ve ever do is pick on him. I’m tired of it!” Mom pushes down her former boyfriend.

“Let’s get out of here Clay!”

My older daughter concludes, “That’s how Mom and Dad met.”

Everyone enjoys tremendous laughter out of the ad-lib and humorous account the girls provide. My husband and I smile. It’s healthy to laugh at yourself. Our takeaway is that the girls think he’s a nerd and they think I’m a fashion model. My older says a Kardashian (puke).

More than that, the girls give me the best gift. They think I am beautiful. Sure, my older says it on occasion. My younger pats my shoulder with her six-year-old hand while meeting my eyes, saying, “Mommy, you’re beautiful.” They give me the best gift, and I hope it lasts always.

I remember thinking my mom was beautiful. I remember the professional photo of her with bouncy body waves in her hair, a light blue silk blouse, and black slacks. I still see the shimmer of the gloss on her lips. She was every bit as beautiful as a model. That picture is still in my mind’s eye and I am honored that my girls think I am beautiful. On days with no makeup, on days groomed for date night, my girls think I am beautiful. It’s the best gift I can imagine and I hope it lasts forever.

How do you define beautiful? Tell us your beautiful story in the comments.

Visit Nicole at

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