I will never forget the day that he entered into that title. It was sunny, and windy. And we were in love. I remember watching him as we said our vows. I remember him smiling at me as I walked up the aisle. He wiped a tear from his face, and I remember thinking how moving it is to see a man in uniform, MY Marine, tear up.
I remember thinking about our life that day. The life we had shared up to that point. The lifetime we would share together. Our anniversaries, our holidays, vacations, homes…where we would live. Our children.
I remember thinking about what they would look like, how they would sound. Would they have my goofy sense of humor, or would they be more centered…like Joe? Would they get my hair? His eyes? Would their ears stick out on top…just a little…like his? Would they have my nose (Please, God. If we should have a girl, please let her have my nose!!!)???? What would their hands and feet look like? Would they have a pointy chin? Cleft, or no? One thing was certain. They would be tall. That was unavoidable.
And they would most likely be stubborn as all hell (firey…as my husband would say) which is arguably unavoidable as well.
Over the years, I honestly didn’t spend all that much time thinking about kids. Sure. They were something that we were planning on happening after I was done with school, and we were officially living in the same state. I mean, that would be the responsible thing to do. Granted, there were fleeting moments I would think of what it would be like. Typically it was when we were visiting and coo’ing over a new addition to the human race belonging to one of our friends. But, for the most part, kids were no where on my radar. His either.
Until that one fateful December day. It was the day after Christmas. And I just knew. I mean, REALLY knew.
We had been spending a ridiculous Christmas together. Sans furniture. Sans appropriate California weather. Sans something else…ahem. To be perfectly honest, every other time I had pictured having a child and becoming pregnant, it did not involve reality. In my vision, I would be glowing, and floating around the room like a butterfly hopped up on rainbows. I would cry. Joe would cry. And a chorus of angels would sing… (okay, so may be not the angel part).
In all honesty, there was crying involved. But it was less happy tears and more “holy shit, everything I’ve planned in my life is now over, and I now have a ridiculous school debt without the degree required to get the job to pay for the loan, how did this happen, how can we make this work, how am I such a selfish person that I am NOT over the moon about this, oh my God…I am going to hate my baby and be a horrible mom, and be part of a Dateline special about mothers who hate their precious little babies, and I will forever be known as the crazy almost child psychologist that hates her baby”…you get the idea.
In all fairness. Joe cried too. Though what he vocalized was “we’re going to make this work. You ARE going to finish school. You are NOT going to give up your dream”. Again…of the two, he’s a little more of a calm-front. Months later, well after the shock wore off and we had evaluated everything and laid out a plan (and WERE over-the-moon), Joe and I were talking about that day. We laughed about it, and promised to tell Ellie all about it (when she was older and had her psyche well-established). But what hit me was that Joe admitted that after the initial shock wore off he was ridiculously excited, a process that took all of about 10 minutes.
To watch Joe go through the process of becoming a father was something that I hadn’t ever thought of. I guess, in my head, he would just be the same…but love this little person as well. All that changed when we heard Ellie’s heartbeat the first time. He squeezed my hand and tears started rolling down his cheeks. When we found out she was a girl, he was beyond excited. The first thing we did was call my dad…and I couldn’t get a word out before he grabbed the phone to share the news.
Every time she kicked, or squirmed, he (when he was around) would be there to talk to her and cheer her on.
He was just amazing.
While the day had intense moments…
We got this perfect little human at the end of it. This little chick that was the best of both of us combined.
And he was in love.
And maybe more than just a little wrapped around her finger.
There were so many times in the first couple of days that I just sat and watched Joe and Ellie. He would just hold her and look at her. She would open her eyes and stare at him. It was unreal that this was my life, and that this man…this stranger who was now all about holding a small child, who would coo and sing…was my husband.
Needless to say, Ellie and daddy became quite the pair…
From cuddles on the couch, to cuddles in the morning…I had to fight and elbow my way into getting ANY baby time!!! 🙂
But then there was daddy to the rescue from “meany Mommy”…
Not to say that Ellie isn’t a total momma’s girl!!!
Or that we don’t have the most fun when it’s all three of us together!
I mean…who knew? Who ever really knows what it will be like when you have your own child? I certainly think that Joe 5 years ago would be amazed by Joe today. And I think he would be proud.
Isn’t it lucky? That this sweet little princess has such an amazing daddy?
(Who is apparently better at giving baths in the sink than mommy…)
Who doesn’t take himself too seriously?
And will pass that personal attribute along?
I review my posts and earlier blogs, and marvel at how much life has changed and how much Joe and I have grown. I’ve watched my Joe become my husband and the father of our children.
And what a journey it has been.