Someone once told me that in deciding whether or not a man was “the one,” I should ask myself this question: if we had children and some tragedy subsequently took me out of this world, would I want this man to be the one charged with loving and raising those children? At the time, I sort of understood what this wise woman was trying to say, but not really. Not until I had a child of my own. Not until the part of my brain was turned on that is used only for compiling lists of horrible, violent, depressing, tragic, or life scarring events that could possibly happen to my child (or to me, thus affecting my child).
Fortunately, I married a man that passed the “what if I die” test. Sure, if I weren’t around, my child’s clothes might not match, she might always walk around with her last meal still plastered across her cheeks, and there may be a few more bumps and scrapes due to all the wild fun going on without motherly supervision. But, the important things would definitely be there. Sometimes, I even imagine a life without me in it just to calm the irrational fears that attack my mind at random. And in that life, I see a little girl holding hands with her dad at the zoo, an unending array of tight hugs and wet kisses, bedtime stories and all-night snuggles, a girl being cheered on at soccer games, music recitals, and graduations, long, honest talks over coffee. I see a dad who does things his way (without me there to micromanage….wink), but always honors what he knows the mother of his children believed in and wanted for her babes.
And the beautiful thing is, Emerson has that life I’ve imagined. She has that dad. Yes, I managed to marry the right man—for me, and our child(ren). He will listen and understand, he will be humble and apologize when necessary, he will give of himself generously and with unrestrained love, and he will do his very best to support and guide his children toward the life they were meant to live. And, I get to be here to give myself to her too, and that’s just the best, most wonderful thing in the world.
So, “Happy Father’s Day” doesn’t even scratch the surface of what I wanted to say to my husband yesterday.