20 years ago, a 3-year-old Matt Grodsky decided he would marry classmate Laura Scheel one day and stood up in front of his entire preschool class to declare it.
After Laura’s parents adopted her from India, they enrolled her in the same preschool Grodsky attended in Phoenix, Arizona. The latter was immediately drawn to Scheel, and she felt the same way.
“I don’t remember the first time I saw her, but she was always a girl who let me follow her around,” Grodsky recalled, “I’d always try to impress her by reciting lines from movies like ‘The Lion King’ and stuff like that.”
Now both 23 years old, some of Grodsky’s and Scheel’s earliest memories are about each other – playing hide and seek, staying awake together even during nap time, and trips to the movies. She taught him everything from painting to riding the swings.
He said: “As kids, Laura taught me how to ride the swings, draw rolling hills, and the ‘right way’ to properly eat string cheese. I was enamored with Laura as a child, and I still am to this day.”
It ended up taking quite a bit of waiting. They lost touch when they went to different elementary schools, and Matt said that for the next seven years they would only see each other’s faces on family Christmas cards that were exchanged.
Then in the fall of their freshman year of high school, once again at two different schools, Scheel was looking through a friend’s phone and saw Grodsky’s name.
It turns out Scheel’s friend had gone to middle school with Grodsky, and when the friend found out that they had been quite the item in preschool, she offered to reconnect them and the two dated ever since.
Grodsky didn’t wait until they finished college to pop the question. On May 23, 2015, as the couple prepared to start their senior year, he brought her back to the place where it all began: their preschool. He said he “decided to stay true to my preschool pledge” and proposed to her “in the place it all began … (outside) our preschool classroom”.
The answer – a yes! Grodsky’s brother brought out a picnic basket, the very same one that their dad used when he proposed to their mom, full of bridal magazines and sparkling cider, then bowed out to give the newly-engaged couple a private picnic to celebrate.
On December 30, 2016, the couple married.
Since then, Grodsky says life’s been great. He’s working as a screenwriter while his wife works for a non-profit organization helping foster families in need.
They’ve even got a new 6-month-old dog, Kirby. But in between all that, they’re constantly reminiscing about preschool and their friendship.