We met eight years ago in the most unlikely of places–Las Vegas. I observed this tall, dark, and handsome man talking to my friend, and something happened internally to me. Your face seemed familiar, your Southern accent drew me in, and the way you looked at me slowed down the constant chatter in my mind. You shook my soul in mere minutes, and I hadn’t even spoken a word to you yet. After I found the courage to approach you, we talked and didn’t stop talking until the next morning.
Eight years, a marriage, and two rambunctious boys later, my feelings for you have changed, but not in the way you might think. The excitement and curiosity I had about you that first fateful night has evolved into something else entirely. I supposed it started to change when our first son was born. I had moved away from home in Minneapolis to Atlanta with no close family nearby. You were my family and I needed you to be there through the ups and downs of pregnancy, and all that was to come after. When Nash was born, you were in the room encouraging me through the pain and you felt the same blind exhilaration when he cried out for the first time.
I experienced some effects of postpartum depression, or at the very least mild depression after having Nash. The lack of sleep, complete culture shock of a new baby, and little family support made it hard to be happy those first few months. But you were there. You were there to hold me when I just needed to cry. You were there when I didn’t know how to make the baby stop crying. And you were there through all of his major early life milestones, sharing in the joy of each new achievement. I’ll never forget that.
Time passed and I became pregnant again. We secretly hoped for a girl, but laughed together in the doctor’s office when we found out we were having another boy! We knew how much the boys would love each other, and how much they would fight. Again, you were there to support me through the pregnancy and delivery, and this time following a birth, there was no depression. My family was complete, and we were a team working together to make it through the long nights and the even longer days. DC was a much tougher baby–he didn’t sleep through the night until he was well over two, and his ardent refusal to eat anything healthy had us stumped for a while. Luckily we had each other and love in abundance. DC still drives us crazy, especially when we need to get out the door in the morning, but we still take it all in stride–side by side.
Before meeting you I had been in love with a charming boy I met in college. I thought I knew what love was, and what I wanted in all future relationships after that one had ended. I can honestly say now, that I had no clue what it meant to love and be loved before meeting you. To know that someone has seen you at your most vulnerable, and accepts you fully, is a beautiful rare thing. Your fierce love for me and our children binds us for the rest of our lives and I couldn’t be more grateful.
So on this Father’s Day, and all that follow, know that I see you and appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for me and the boys. They will grow into better men because you are in their lives: teaching them about cars, how to play chess, and obscure facts about mayflies and when they hatch. Our relationship is far from perfect, after all my dad did ask if you were sure when you asked him if you could marry me–but we laugh every single day, and that, in my opinion, makes for a pretty spectacular life.