Happy Father’s Day! Here’s a photo of the best dad in the world.
In ten days, we’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of our first date. About an hour into that first date, he told me he wanted another child. Actually, what he said was, “I’ve always known that someday I’d have another kid.”
He was the divorced dad of an adorably precocious nine-year-old. He was a competent, confident, and involved father, and he was eager for another child to love and nurture.
I, on the other hand, was pretty sure that I was done having kids. I was recently divorced, and my girls were four and almost six. Annie had just finished kindergarten and Cait would start school in another year. Diapers were a receding memory. I could see their independence—once defined by my sister-in-law as “the age at which you can tell your children, ‘Go take a bath and get ready for bed’ and they can do it without your assistance”—looming in the not-too-distant future.
I looked forward to the end of daycare worries, car-seat shuffling, temper tantrums, and the general stickiness of the preschool years (jam on the table, apple juice on the floor, gum in the hair). I would be able to get a good job, take classes, do craft projects. I would have another name—and another identity—besides “Mo-o-o-om!”
So how did I respond? I said, “I’d like to have another kid someday, too.”
Because an hour into our first date I had already figured out a few important things: That he would be an amazing stepfather to my girls. That we were meant to blend our families, and to have another child together. That I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.
Eight weeks later we got married. A little less than a year after that, we celebrated the arrival of our son Will, who turned out to be exactly what I wanted, too.
Our four bright, funny, loving kids are all grown up now, with adult responsibilities and busy lives. But this weekend we were lucky enough to gather all of our them together at camp, to celebrate Father’s Day with the best dad in the world.