She's been the author of her own story now for 5 years. Four relentless years of college. Two humid summers at a summer camp in PA. One summer working door to door in KS with a heavy backpack and a crappy bike. Bonding with roommates. Paying bills. Buying food. Slowly changing. Maturing. Her independence and struggles helping her to better understand things from Mom and Dad's perspective.
Now she's in France as an au pair to three young children. She paid me a compliment by telling me she'd rather take my wild pack of five out in public -by-herself- than the children she au pairs. Aw... thanks, Shay.
So, on one of the jaunts with her au pair family to the Swiss Alps, where she didn't have internet, my daughter's boyfriend requests to Skype with us. Secretively. Yeah. You guessed it. He told us he planned to bicycle from Paris to Lyon and then ask Shanelle to marry him. We gave our blessing and some unsolicited advice; offered to help them out as much as we could... and waited.
We had many phone calls, Skype sessions, and emails with Shanelle and never once let on that Lawrence had even contacted us. Then one day she called. The call dropped when I answered and I figured she'd be home so I jumped on Skype and there she was having dinner with Lawrence.
Her first words were, "So, you and Dad have been keeping secrets from me. A rather big one."
I laughed and laughed. Thanks Lawrence, that was so fun!
Of course we wanted to hear the story of him popping the question. So, here it is. Picture this:
They were out on a walk up above Grenoble, France and looking out over some beautiful scenery. She walked off and he kept trying to get her to come back to look at it. She had seen it a million times and was ready to leave. So, he gets down on one knee. There was something about her literally gasping and grabbing the ring, and I think she said yes somewhere along the line.
The ring is the coolest ever. When they first met, Lawrence was running the mountain biking activity at the summer camp. Then, he biked from Paris to go propose to her. He personally fashioned a ring using parts from a bicycle. Isn't that awesome!
Congratulations, Shanelle and Lawrence. May the force be with you.