These Preschool Sweethearts Lost Touch, But 20 Years Later Everything Changed

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We’ve all heard of high school sweethearts, but what about preschool sweethearts? Matt Grodsky and Laura Sheel were just that. The two met in preschool when they were only three years old and they formed an incredible bond. The pair was attached at the hip and Matt even proclaimed his love for Laura in front of the entire class. But as they grew up and went to different schools, distance got the best of them and soon enough, their friendship was cut short. That is, until their paths crossed again one day…

Matt and Laura Met at Preschool

The story of Matt Grodsky and Laura Scheel starts nearly 25 years ago. The two met at their Phoenix, Arizona preschool when they were just three years old. Right away, they became best friends.

kids on couch
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Matt first noticed Laura on the playground and knew he wanted to be her friend, so he started following her around. Soon enough, Laura warmed up to Matt and they became inseparable. Although their parents thought their friendship was adorable, they didn’t think much of it. After all, they were just little kids.

Laura Thought Matt Was a Total Goofball

Matt knew he wanted to be friends with Laura so he would follow Laura around the playground all day. He even said in an interview with Today, “I don’t remember the first time I saw her, but she was always a girl who let me follow her around.”

kids with toys in the background
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

At first, Laura thought he was a total goofball for following her around, but she realized just how funny and warm-hearted Matt really was. Soon enough, she and Matt were best friends. The pals did everything together, from playing hide-and-seek on the playground to mischievously staying up during naptime.

The Two Were Inseparable

For Matt and Laura, playing together at preschool wasn’t enough — they wanted to hang out more! By this point, the two best friends’ parents knew each other so the little ones started playing on the weekends too. They planned fun playdates and went to the movies with each other, with parent chaperones of course. Matt would even grab Laura’s hand during the scary parts of movies they watched.

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Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

The two pals were clearly inseparable, and although Matt was just four years old, he wanted everyone to know how he felt about Laura!

Matt Always Tried to Impress Laura

It’s funny to think back to when we were little kids and remember the things we did to impress our friends. Whether it was showing off our collection of Pokemon cards or swinging extra high on the swings, those days were much sweeter!

kids on ground
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Matt loved his best friend Laura and was always trying to impress her. One of his favorite ways to show off how cool he was was to recite lines from his favorite Disney movies like The Lion King.

Laura Taught Matt Lots of Things

Matt may have spent lots of time trying to impress Laura, but Laura effortlessly impressed him! She even taught him lots of things too. For example, Laura was the one who taught Matt how to swing on a swing. She also taught him how to draw rolling hills and even how to eat string cheese the right way.

laura and matt
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

These things might seem minor to us now, but when someone teaches you things like this as a kid, they become the moments you remember for the rest of your life.

Little Lovebirds

By the time they were four years old, everyone knew that Matt and Laura were best friends. It was easy to see since the pair was attached at the hip even on the weekends! Their friendship was undoubtedly special. Everyone thought the two were little lovebirds — even Matt.

friends on the beach
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

One day, Matt stood in front of the class and declared that one day, he would marry Laura, saying, “Just you wait!” Unsurprisingly, his classmates laughed at him. After all, how many of your childhood friends do you still keep in touch with?

Preschool Pals

While no one took Matt’s declaration seriously, he and Laura remained best friends throughout preschool. They continued to set up playdates outside of school and always attended each other’s birthday parties.

friends in water
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Even though they were just four years old, their bond was clearly special. It truly seemed like Matt’s declaration might not even be so absurd! But as preschool came to a close, the best friends were about to go through a big change — starting kindergarten.

Matt and Laura Start Kindergarten

Before they knew it, the day was finally here: Matt and Laura were starting kindergarten. The two had graduated from preschool and were ready to start the next chapter of their lives.

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Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Starting kindergarten is a big step in any child’s life, but it was even more bittersweet for Matt and Laura. The preschool friends weren’t sure if they would be put in the same class and were starting to realize their days of playing with each other all day might be over.

The Friends Went to Different Elementary Schools

Not only were Matt and Laura not in the same kindergarten class, but they also weren’t even enrolled in the same school. Of course, this wasn’t a deliberate choice made by their parents, but rather, it was dictated by where they lived.

matt and laura on a couch together
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Still, the best friends were upset when they realized they wouldn’t be able to play together as much anymore. Their parents didn’t seem to understand how attached they were either, and simply assured the kids they would still get to play together on the weekends.

They Hung Out Every Now and Then

Their parents assured the two pals that would still get to play together on the weekends, but this was only partially true. Life gets busy, and before they knew it, Matt and Laura’s time together was steadily dwindling.

kids hanging out
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Still, the duo tried to hang out whenever they could. They even took this sweet Christmas card photo with two of their other friends one year! Unfortunately, as the two finished kindergarten and went on to other grades, they started seeing each other on fewer occasions.

They Only Kept In Touch Through Christmas Cards

As the years went by, Matt and Laura saw each other at a declining rate. While they once played every day and even took Christmas photos together, now the old friends only kept in touch when their families exchanged Christmas cards in the mail.

MyLoupe / Contributor
MyLoupe / Contributor

While the two missed each other, they were busy with school, homework, family, and new friends. It appeared they were simply going through the motions of everyday life.

Distance Doesn’t Always Make the Heart Grow Fonder

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but this isn’t always true. It definitely wasn’t true for Matt and Laura. Several years passed and the two old friends no longer eagerly awaited new Christmas cards. They were growing up and living their own separate lives.

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Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

As we grow up and are constantly learning new things, meeting new people, and having new experiences, it’s all too easy to forget about our past. For a moment in time, it seemed as though Matt and Laura had had a sweet childhood friendship but had grown up and moved on.

The Friends Started Their Freshman Year of High School

Before they knew it, nearly 10 years had passed and Matt and Laura were ready to start high school. Again, they were enrolled in different schools. At this point, the old frie nds rarely thought about each other. After all, it had been almost a decade since they were really close.

Laura with a friend
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

But one day, something unbelievable happened. During the fall of her freshman year, Laura was on her friend’s phone when she noticed a familiar name pop up.

Old Memories Came Flooding Back

Laura was shocked to see Matt’s name before her eyes and suddenly the sweet childhood memories came flooding back! She asked her friend how she knew Matt and apparently, the two had met in middle school. Suddenly, the world was feeling much, much smaller!

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Grodsky Images

Laura told her friend about her and Matt’s preschool romance. She decided it was best not to think too much about it, but her friend had other ideas…

Laura’s Friend Decides to Play Matchmaker

Immediately after Laura finished telling her friend about her and Matt’s preschool romance, her friend had a crazy idea. She wanted to set Matt and Laura up! Laura’s friend thought about it and realized it could be a good match.

laura posing
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Laura’s friends told her the idea, but Laura was hesitant at first. After all, she knew nothing about Matt anymore. The two hadn’t spoken in years. There was no way things would be the same. Or would they?

Laura’s Friend Gave Matt Her Number

Laura was understandably nervous at the idea of being set up with Matt. Not only was she nervous, but she wasn’t even sure if she should really have a boyfriend at the time.

Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images
Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images

Laura told People, “I was a freshman in high school so I was like, ‘I don’t think so!’” But despite her reservations, Laura’s friend had a good feeling about her two friends. She went ahead and gave Laura’s number to Matt.

Matt Texted Laura Right Away

Not long after Matt got Laura’s number, he texted her and soon enough, the two were chatting and agreed to meet up. They set up a date and decided they would go see a movie together.

laura with a friend
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

The two met up and immediately it was like no time at all had passed. Matt even told People that he knew it was love at first sight. Just like when they were in preschool, the old friends hit it off right away!

They Hit It Off!

While Matt and Laura had been best friends in preschool, there was no way to know that they would hit it off now that they were teenagers. Their first date went off without a hitch and soon enough they were boyfriend and girlfriend.

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Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Although they went to different high schools, now that they were able to drive, it was easier to keep up with their relationship. Once again, they were inseparable, accompanying each other to high school dances and other functions.

They Had a Tough Decision to Make

With their senior year in full swing and college on the horizon, the couple had a tough decision to make. They had already been separated once before and didn’t want to lose each other again. But they were going to different colleges in different states and didn’t want to miss out on experiences either.

Matt and Laura graduating
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

“Right after we graduated from high school, we were pretty hesitant,” said Laura in an interview with People. “We were like, ‘Do we stay together? Do we try to make it work?’” They had gone to different schools before, but this time, they would be 1,000 miles away.

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder This Time

Eventually, Matt and Laura decided they would go away to their respective colleges but would try to make a long-distance relationship work. While Laura went to Northern Arizona University, Matt moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College. They were now 1,600 miles away from each other.

Couple Years later and together pic

While distance may not have made their hearts grow fonder when they were just kids, this time it was different. They were committed to making it work!

They Were Up for the Challenge

The couple knew being so far apart would be a challenge, but they cared so deeply for each other that they wanted to do everything they could to make it work. They made sure to fully immerse themselves in college life, but also keep up a healthy relationship with one another.

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Grodsky Images

This wasn’t always easy, especially because they were in different time zones. But thanks to social media and Facetime, they were able to “see” each other every day. They even made frequent trips to visit one another in their new homes.

They Were Apart for Nearly Six Months

Although they had social media and Facetime to keep up with one another, they still had long stretches of time when they couldn’t see each other in person. The longest stretch they had between visits was nearly six months.

couple in winter
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

While they were in college, they each realized something big: they truly wanted to be together. But the distance between them was becoming a challenge for both of them — especially Matt. He knew he had to do something about it.

Senior Year

Soon enough, it was senior year all over again, only this time it was their senior year of college. Matt knew he wanted to celebrate the two starting their last year of school in a big way. While they were both home during the summer, he had an idea for an adorable date.

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Grodsky Images

Since they both had been working so hard in school, he wanted to surprise Laura with a date that would be relaxing and romantic. He planned a picnic at their preschool! How sweet is that?

Matt Had Something Else Up His Sleeve

While Matt did indeed plan to have a relaxing and romantic picnic at the sweet location, that wasn’t all that he had planned.

couple in black and white
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

“I convinced Laura that we were going to a picnic at the preschool. We had just finished up our junior year of college, so I framed it as a nice relaxing date,” Matt told the Huffington Post. Although they had been together for years at this point, Laura still never saw his surprise coming.

Laura Was So Touched by the Thoughtful Gesture

Laura knew that Matt had planned a picnic for the two of them, but she had no idea that he had planned for their picnic to be at the preschool where they met nearly 20 years ago.

18a close up shot of matt and laura
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Matt was more than excited to surprise Laura with the gesture. He thought the preschool was the perfect symbol to help celebrate their relationship. He truly valued their unique love story and wanted to take Laura back to where it all started.

Matt Was Noticeably Nervous

Before the couple arrived at the preschool Laura noticed that Matt appeared to be nervous. He seemed to be constantly fidgeting in his seat the whole car ride. She figured it was because he was taking her to a surprise location.

matt and laura as adults
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

When they finally arrived at the preschool, Laura was completely overwhelmed by the thoughtful gesture. She already felt so lucky to have Matt in her life, but now her emotions were running high.

Will You Marry Me?

Laura was already so surprised that Matt had planned this picnic for the two of them at their old preschool. But she was about to get an even bigger surprise when suddenly, Matt got down on one knee and asked his girl to marry him.

matt proposes to laura
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Laura was shocked. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, is this happening?’ I saw the ring and was like, ‘This is gorgeous. I’m so happy with it.’ I had no idea,” she told People. But of course, she said, “YES!”

Matt Started Planning Months Before The Amazing Proposal

Matt may have proposed to Laura on May 23, 2015, but he had been planning the special event for months. He purchased the gorgeous engagement ring months before, and even asked Laura’s dad for his blessing prior to popping the question.

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Grodsky Images

Matt also made sure to have his brother hide out at the preschool so he could capture the engagement on camera. The cutest thing of all is that Matt used his parent’s old picnic basket that his father had used to propose to his mom! His parents even packed the basket with sparkling cider and wedding magazines.

Proposing In the Place It All Began

Although Matt and Laura were still in college, he decided he didn’t want to wait until they both graduated. He knew Laura was The One and wanted to make things official. So he decided to stay true to his preschool pledge.

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Grodsky Images

“I proposed to her at the place it all began … our preschool classroom,” Matt proudly recalled to the Huffington Post. He added, “When you like someone, you just kind of stand up and say it.” That’s exactly what Matt did 20 years ago, and it’s what he did when he asked Laura to be his wife.

Matt and Laura Tie the Knot

Matt and Laura officially wed on December 30, 2016 at the Arizona Historical Society. As if the preschool sweethearts weren’t already the picture of true love, they chose Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” for their first dance — a nod to Matt’s numerous Disney one-liners when they were just kids.

matt and laura sitting
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Matt’s uncle was even the one to officiate their marriage and put it perfectly saying, “For most kids in preschool, it’s about finding your snacks and your sleeping mats, but for them it was about finding their soulmates.”

Everyone Came to Celebrate Their Love

Matt and Laura’s wedding was obviously a special day for them, but it was even more special for them to be able to share their love story with their friends and family. Having everyone they love together, celebrating them and dancing the night away was the best gift they could have ever asked for.

matt and laura kissing
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

“Our favorite part of the wedding was the dancing and having everyone we love there to celebrate with us,” Matt and Laura said in an interview with People. “We tore it up on the dance floor and it was great being surrounded by everyone who played a part in bringing us together,” they added.

Off to Maui!

Now that Matt and Laura were officially a married couple, it was time to keep the celebration going. After they said ‘I do,’ the couple jet off on their honeymoon to the gorgeous island of Maui. There they spent nearly two weeks exploring everything the island has to offer. More importantly, they got to enjoy time with each other.

couple on the beach
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Laura was over the moon with happiness, but she wanted to find a sweet way to share their love story with the world. The couple never anticipated what would happen next.

Laura Shared Their Story With “The Way We Met”

For as long as Matt and Laura could remember, their friends and family would tell them how special their relationship was. While she always knew their relationship was rare, Laura was now officially a Grodsky, and wanted to share their story!

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Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

Laura shared a cute snapshot of the two at preschool next to a recent photo, along with the story of how they met, with “The Way We Met.” The Instagram account frequently shares the heart-warming stories of how couples met, and knew they had to share Laura’s as soon as she submitted it.

Matt and Laura Go Viral

In the post that she shared, Matt and Laura explain their whirlwind romance that started when they were just three years old. “I was enamored with Laura as a child, and I still am to this day,” Matt said.

picture at a waterfall
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

The Way We Met shared the newlywed’s story and soon enough, they went viral! Everyone loved reading about Matt and Laura’s love story. While the couple knew people would likely enjoy their story, they never expected for the response to be quite as great as it was.

Hundreds of Thousands of People Read Their Story

When “The Way We Met” shared Matt and Laura’s story, it initially received more than 30,000 likes and nearly 1,000 comments. Laura received a notification that their story had been shared with nearly 400,000 followers. But before they knew it, numerous media channels were reaching out to the couple to get all of the information on their love story.

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Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

The couple was contacted by media outlets like the Huffington Post, The Today Show, and People — who even ran a full-length story on them.

What’s Next for the Grodskys?

So what’s next for the Grodskys? The couple has been married for almost two years now and they are living life to the fullest. Matt and Laura are both living in their home state of Arizona where Matt works as an account executive at a digital marketing agency and Laura works for a non-profit that helps foster children.

matt and laura standing in front of an arrow
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

The two recently bought a new house and have been enjoying adding special touches to make their house a home.

They’re Puppy Parents

One of the couple’s big milestones of the last two years? They became parents… well, sort of. After they got married, Matt and Laura added a furry companion to their family — an adorable puppy named Kirby.

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Grodsky Images

Between their new home, new puppy, and working full time, the couple sure does have their hands full! But that doesn’t mean a baby isn’t in their future. In fact, a baby might be on the horizon relatively soon

They Want Kids One Day

Although the young couple has their hands full right now, kids are very much in their future. “We would love to have kids at some point,” Laura said in an interview with People. “Right now we are focused on our new puppy Kirby and our new house.”

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Grodsky Images

It’s no surprise they’re waiting to grow their family. After all, the two have had a busy few years between graduating, getting engaged, their wedding, buying a home, and adopting a puppy!

Appreciating What They Have

From meeting at preschool when they were three years old to not seeing each other for eight years to rekindling their friendship and eventually falling in love — Matt and Laura undoubtedly have a once-in-a-lifetime love story. And they make sure they never forget or take it for granted!

matt and laura hugging
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

“The best thing about our relationship is we are just silly and we appreciate each other every day,” they told People. “Having gone through a long distance relationship, you learn really quick how much the other person means to you and we value our time.”

Their Favorite Things

Matt and Laura may still be newlyweds, but they’ve been together for years and know a thing or two about making a relationship work. One thing that’s important to them is drive and positivity.

matt and laura on the beach
Grodsky Images
Grodsky Images

“My favorite thing about Matt is his humor, he always makes me happy and he is the most driven person I know,” Laura says. “He is always moving forward.” Matt added “My favorite thing about Laura is her infectious smile and her desire to help those who are less fortunate. She is a force for good and it’s inspiring to be around her every day.”

Kayla Currier

Kayla Currier is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives