My husband, your dad

Hi Four!

The bedrest continues and our lives move another day closer to you hopefully joining our world.  I do worry so much still as I am waiting for you to make your presence felt.  At this point I should be feeling you…if not today, very soon then.  I just hope that you are a sleepy baby and taking all of this bedrest time to be quiet and rest just like I am.

Your dad has been reading these posts at times.  I tell him that I say nice things about him in here, but he said he doesn’t get much more than a mention.  The truth is that when I start to think about the miracle of having found your dad, I get pretty emotional.  So today I will write, while probably wiping away tears, about this amazing man who makes a wonderful husband, solid partner for life, and will become the best dad ever!

Your dad is just a little less than year younger than me.  Grandma G and Grandpa E will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this January (and hopefully you and I will be there too).  They were married in ’67 and your dad was born in ’75.  Grandma G said that she tried and tried to have a baby.  She waited years for your dad.  He was super-welcomed by a family that was all praying for his arrival (sound familiar?).  When I see baby pictures of him I just melt.  Your dad was sure a sweet looking little one.  He was readily joined by Aunt D, so the two of them really grew together.  They both loved animals.  The way that I witness your dad go all out to save animals is so wonderful.  It was one of the main reasons I fell for him.  So back to his youth, your dad and his family were close.  They enjoyed all kinds of great times together and he was naturally inquisitive.  He was a good student and loved to read.  Your dad is incredibly smart and tackles challenges with that same curiosity to learn more.  There is not much I doubt he can’t do.  Maybe tightrope walking…that would be tough for anybody.  He is not a big talker, not a show off, and not someone who wants to be the center of attention (all in direct opposition to my natural tendencies).  He is a very hard worker.  Each day he powers through early wake-ups, sometimes very early, and does his job.  When he is done, he comes home to do more work.  He is very proud of the house and works hard here too to make it nice.  Being that the house is old, there are a lot of things that need attention, so his to-do is ever-growing and very long.  You dad also is an excellent home chef.  This was another thing that I really enjoyed when we first started dating.  When I used to go out with other guys it was always out to eat at places.  With your dad, it was a sheer pleasure to stay in and help him in the kitchen.  He enjoys looking for recipes and giving them a try.  It is really fun and he makes some incredibly delicious meals.  Additionally, your dad is a bigtime wine guy.  Not only does he have an amazing collection of all kinds of fancy wines, he also makes his own.  That is something he has in common with my GGV.  He uses fruits and/or gets kits and then makes and bottles some really nice wine.  Our wedding favors were a Strawberry White Merlot that he made and put in these little bottles with a personalized label.  Everyone raved about it.  To relax, he also likes to play video games on his tablet.  Right now he is into a dragon thing.  I don’t know how it works, but it has cute characters and he can spend a lot of time with that just going on in the background.

Your father has this great travel bug.  He has been on trips with his family as a kid and young adult.  Then, when he was in his 30’s, he started to take cruises.  He LOVES cruising, and I was introduced to that with him too.  It is really great and we get to see a lot of beautiful destinations.  Even though your dad is all about forests and trees, he loves the Caribbean Sea!  His wedding ring has fire opal just because it made me think of the water color there.  Our honeymoon was a cruise in the Caribbean and the weather was outstanding for that wonderful adventure together.  I have no doubt that your dad will take you to all kinds of places.  He was even looking into how to cruise with a baby.  Maybe you will see that sea sooner than I would have thought possible.  Besides his love for cruising, your dad enjoys hiking too.  He has done some tough backpacking treks, one with his friend J, where there were nearly in some bad danger from a storm.  He and I have enjoyed hiking the trails at Starved Rock (where he proposed to me), Giant City, and Pere Marquette parks.  He stops and notices all kinds of little things: tiny plants, small critters, and more.

Part of the travel thing for your dad is that he gets to enjoy one of his favorite hobbies: photography.  Your dad has a talented eye and the photos are proof of that.  I can’t wait for him to start capturing your experiences as you learn about nature with him.  When he loads his photos to the computer, he also edits them.  He can make an average picture look professional.  Right now he is working on Grandma G and Grandpa E’s wedding photos for a slide show at their party.  Your dad likes projects and can focus like a sniper on getting them done and done well.  One of your dad’s other admirable traits is that he has a good handle on money.  He has always been a saver.  When he does let himself indulge, like for a cruise, he has already saved money and knows what he can afford so that he can relax.  This is something that I wish I was much better at.  He knows the ins and outs of his retirement plan, where his various investments are at all times, and what our monthly expenses look like.  We would not have been able to have this beautiful home if not for his planning and diligent savings over the years.  I hope that he teaches this very important life skill to you so that you can live within your means and have the security of emergency funds available to you should you need it.

One of the things about your dad that I admired most when I was first getting to know him was his honesty.  Your dad and his family are “tell it like it is” people.  This was something that I wasn’t used to.  I was always more along the lines of: if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything at all.  When your dad was asking me how I liked something I always answered fine or good, even if I didn’t like it much.  He caught on to this and told me to be direct.  Your dad knows how to state his opinion, which I was never good at.  His honesty may be hard for me to process at times, but at least I know where I stand.  The fact is if I ask a direct question, I get a direct answer.  Part of what makes your dad and me work as a couple is that we are good at communicating with one another.  This sounds very cliche, but this is key.  We hope you will be an open and honest communicator with us too.  If there is something that we need to talk about, we just do.  We don’t let things fester, we talk it out.  This has saved us in times where we could have allowed resentment to brew.  Your dad is someone who starts a little guarded, but when you have his trust, he is super warm and fun.  He is great at making me laugh and helping me to relax.  Even when we have gone through some scary stuff, he is calm.  That is not to say he doesn’t get angry – he can when pressed too much.  In all of our time together I think I have only seen him angry three times, and all were justified.  He just has a different way of managing his emotions than me.  I wear my emotions like a billboard, your dad is much more self-contained.  Sometimes I think he is mad when he is really just tired.  He has demonstrated amazing patience with me.  Just moving here was a massive undertaking, and he was decent throughout the purge effort we made on all of my excess junk.

Mostly, you will witness how much your dad embodies the qualities of Saint Francis.  He is all about animals and the environment.  He goes so far out of his way to rescue injured animals while on the job.  One of our early dates was to a wildlife rehab center that he takes animals to.  It was so wonderful to know that he is doing his part to be a decent human.  He is passionate about being a good steward.  Recently we had two coyotes that were very sick roaming our backyard.  They had mange and one was way worse than the other.  We named the very bad one “Mangy Mommy” and the smaller one “Patches” because the mange was not as bad and limited to these patchy areas on his sides.  We watched as they scratched and got skinnier.  Mangy Mommy even showed up one night with open bloody areas on her and she was nothing but bones.  Your dad researched options and found a charity that delivers mange treatment medicine.  He injected some meat and we watched all day to see that the two coyotes ate the meat.  Sure enough Patches came along and gobbled up the food.  Then we waited and waited.  Finally, later than she would normally come along, Mangy Mommy showed up and we both nearly cried tears of joy when she ate the medicated pork chops.  We watched and waited to see how they did following getting the needed medicine.  A week later we saw Patches and he looked way better.  He wasn’t scratching and his fur was filling back in.  We held out hope for Mangy Mommy, but night after night we didn’t see her.  Finally, this past Saturday she trotted up and sniffed around for some food.  She was way better.  We both confessed that we feared she didn’t make it because she was so bad by the time we dosed her, but she did survive.  We were so happy we almost cried.  These two beautiful animals are still around today because of your dad’s determination.  Isn’t that awesome?  He is the guy who will trap a spider in a cup to release it outside (which I always did too).  He cares so much about nature and it shows.  This is who he is at his core and I cherish it.  He will teach you all about critters too and I know that you will be kind to animals as well.  Your dad already has cages and aquariums for you to fill with your own pets as you prove to be responsible.  And, of course, your dad just melts for his cat Ivy.  Ivy is pretty old, and she has been there for your dad for many years.  She is super sweet, but she needs medicine because her thyroid is running too fast so it makes her extra hungry and super skinny.  Your dad goes out of his way to take care of her.  He spends a lot of money on cat food, treats, and medicine.  It is worth it when you see how much he loves her.  She follows him everywhere and snuggles on his lap.  I love my Mittens and Mia too, but there is just something very special with your dad and Ivy.  She is a very sweet kitty and I appreciate the attention she gives me when she is feeling like it.

Finally, let me finish by saying I really hope you have a lot of your dad in you.  I don’t mean to not speak well of myself, I have my good traits too, but your dad has a heart of gold and a calm, steady strength about him different from me.  This man that I learned about as we were dating, that I have grown so close with in our marriage, and who has been a rock during the rollercoaster of our journey toward parenthood has only ever continued to impress me.

One of the symbols of our relationship is the acorn.  There was a question I has asked of your dad back when we were first dating.  The questions was “describe love.”  I went into a long-winded philosophical dissertation.  My answer was so much a mirror to my personality.  Then, finally, I quieted and your dad answered.  He simply said, “love is like an acorn.”  I can’t capture how eloquently he stated this beautiful metaphor.  However it was the answer that reflected him perfectly.  We later used acorns as a symbol in our wedding and I can’t think of something more appropriate for you too.  The thing that is so amazing about an acorn is how something so small can blossom into something as grand, strong, and long-lasting as a mighty oak.  Our love started like this, a simple little opportunity of trusting one another enough to give us a chance.  By us tending to our mutual needs, we fed that little acorn so that it had a chance to take root and grow.  Our marriage is the start of the oak tree.  With time we will expand branches with our shared experiences and the memories we make and the lives we touch.  Our tree is strong enough to endure the hardships or winter chills and whipping storms.  Our tree is a sanctuary for critters seeking shelter and shade.  Our tree may have an acorn fall from it that may likewise take hold and grow to be so much more…eh?

Baby, there was a time when I was certain I would grow old all alone and die a lonely death.  I had completely given up hope for finding someone who I could be myself with and still be loved and accepted, flaws flab and all.  I was past my youthful beauty.  I was getting older and what guy wants to take on a high mileage project like me?  I had been on the various dating websites and was just convinced it was a bleak future because I was too weird, too heavy, too aged, and too much nothing like the typically accepted cultural standard of “attractive.”  Even with all my self-esteem demons, your dad and I found one another.  I was so comfortable with him and he allowed the quirky, geeky, over-the-top me to be accepted and appreciated.  There are times when I look at him and just know somewhere in heaven our grandmas are raising heavenly glasses of champagne and toasting one another to the miracle that is us making this life together.  We are really well suited for one another.  We aren’t perfect, but we are willing to work on our marriage and that is what is so good.  We care deeply for one another and have what I think is a happy home for you to come into.  You are this additional miracle that I also never believed I would enjoy.  I had thought about being a mom for a long time, but I knew I wanted to have a marriage for that and without even a boyfriend for so long, the idea of marriage and a baby was all a far-reaching dream.  So when your dad and I decided to really go after this dream, despite our ages, despite my health issues, I still didn’t believe we could get there.  And we aren’t there yet…but getting closer and closer.  Four, your arrival into our lives will be one of the greatest blessings in my world…that and having met your dad.  Without him there would be no you, and without divine intervention there would have been no dad for me.  Please see, find, and believe in miracles, because they are there…and you and your father are proof enough for me.  Speaking of miracles, Mangy Mommy just trotted through the yard on the prowl for food…see?  No dad living here; no Mangy Mommy.  How many other home owners would seek out mange treatment for a sick coyote?  One day you may learn about the butterfly effect.  It is the idea that a small action can ripple forward with wave after wave creating bigger effects.  I like the theory because it can be a little mind-bending.  It is like Buddhism’s concept of karma.  I believe that your dad is making all of these little positive impacts that spread into the world making it a better place.  A while ago he and I watched a very, very sad movie about the horrors humanity is doing to destroy the world.  Humans can be nasty and that movie makes me wish that I didn’t like steak so much.  However, your dad is someone who offsets the bad we do by his efforts to do good.  It is a tough world out there kiddo, but we all have opportunities to make it a better world too.  It doesn’t have to be some grand act, just thoughtful and decent choices we make day to day that contribute to a lifetime of positive actions.  This is the essence of your decent, devoted, sweet, and smart father.  I can’t wait to see you in his arms and your eyes gazing at his eyes (eyes that I hope you inherit as I can look into his eyes for hours).  I love him so much sometimes that I swear I am going to burst.  I hope that overwhelming feeling of love is good medicine that bathes you in good feelings as you grow.  When your dad wraps his arms around me I think of how he is holding you too.  He is a fantastic man and you will be so loved and supported by him.  I see how he and his dad have a special father-son bond and can not wait for you both to grow into that too.  See I knew I would get emotional because I am dripping tears now.  I know this won’t be the last of what I write about your awesome dad, but this is a great start.  Something about today with the snow and the wildlife just made it the perfect day to reflect on him.  I hope that you see all of these amazing qualities and more in your dad.  I really hope that you make your own special relationship with this awesome man who will forever be the greatest champion in your life every day for the rest of his.  My mom used to have this cross-stitch saying in her house.  It read, “anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”  I grew up knowing this with my dad, your Grandpa M, and now I get to see how this will soon be true for your dad too.  I am so grateful for the chance to be your mom, and I am so thrilled for a chance to make my very dear husband a dad.

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