I learned very quickly that people let you down, break promises and fall short. I’m not saying I’m perfect. Far from it. I fall short every day as I try to be a good wife, mother, daughter-in-law, and friend. I can give you a list of things that I need to work on, but to be honest, I don’t think the internet is big enough for that.
I have had very few – and I mean VERY few – men that have been anything to me during my life. As you read this, please don’t read it in a negative way. I’m not angry about it. All my experiences, good and bad, made me who I am. It’s not always pretty, but it’s the truth. We are all products of where we came from, whether good or bad, but eventually you can’t blame it on your parents or friends.
My sperm donor a.k.a. my father was one of them. He didn’t have anything to do with me until I was 9. Honestly, I’m not sure whose choice that was, his or my mothers’. I was always told that he didn’t know anything about me until shortly before I found out about him. I don’t know, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. I He died of lung cancer when I was 23. I’m not one to sing praises of people just because they are gone. It doesn’t change who he was. He was an alcoholic. He was an absent parent (not just to me, but my older half-brother as well). He was selfish. I don’t know if he knew any better, his father didn’t teach him how to be a good father. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve spoken to my so-called grandfather. Ehh, I don’t think I was missing anything by not having them as a constant in my life. If anything, it’s something that I am grateful for. I would probably need even more therapy. I’m kidding… sorta. Ok, not really.
I have an uncle that was always there as I was growing up and was more “dad” than I ever had. He is no longer part of my life by my choice. People are not always who they say they are. Things change and can never go back. That’s all I’m going to say about it.
On to the good stuff: When I was 14, I met my now-husband. He was the only boy in 9th grade with blue hair – and I mean BLUE – a tongue ring and a tattoo. What in the world was I thinking?? It turns out, it was one of the best decisions either of us ever made.
We’ve been through more in these 16 years than many go through in a lifetime. We’ve been married 11 years in August. We’ve had 7 pregnancies, 4 births and 2 deaths. Together, we’ve lost parents, grandparents, and friends. We have had screaming matches, cried together, have complete conversations in movie quotes and laughed over stupid stuff. He has seen me at my worst. He stuck by me when I was losing my mind. He stayed when I wanted him to go (full disclosure: I was pregnant and a hormonal lunatic). He held my hand when each of the kids were born, and when 2 of them died. He helped me get out of bed after c-sections and when I wanted to give up. He was strong when I literally could not be. We’ve clung to each other when our worlds crashed down around us. It’s so cliché that I hate to even say it, but he is my best friend. I know, barf. Geez, I’m making myself nauseous.
Now, if I’m putting it all out there, I’m going to tell you that he makes me crazy. He won’t keep his hands to himself, especially if he thinks I’m grumpy. He snores. He is a blanket and bed hog. He spends too much time on his phone. He doesn’t always put his clothes in the laundry (he puts it on the floor next to it). And he sometimes doesn’t hear me when I ask him to do something — he says “you don’t have to nag me every 6 months!” Sigh.
BUT I can deal with all of that when I see the way that he loves our children. He is a better father than either of us had. He would swim the oceans and climb mountains for them. He teaches them that they are worthy. He’s teaching Noah how to be a good husband and father. He’s teaching Avery how a man should treat her and how she shouldn’t settle for anything less that respect and love. He holds their needs above his own. He balances my helicopter mothering with enough relaxation to keep our kids from being neurotic.
He was what I needed before I knew it.
He was what they required before they were born.
Happy Father’s Day, Babe.