Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Watching Him Become Daddy

We were 19. You wore your LSU hat backwards, drove a shiny red truck you kept in perfect condition, and loved to drive me crazy. There was no fairy tale beginning for us. It was actually pretty ridiculous. We spent months saying we were "talking" (what does that even mean??) and then 3 days later we weren't. And this went on for months. You weren't ready for a relationship, I didn't know what I was ready for. All I know is, even though this is pretty cheesy, the first time I met you, my soul knew. It recognized you. And in the blink of an eye, I had forgotten about every rotten boy that broke my heart, led me on, or tried to use me. Gone. I had no problem diving right into playing mind games with you, on and off, kisses and cuddles and awkward hugs when we were supposed to be just friends, being tipsy at a party and you would come sit next to me and I would be praying you'd put your arm around me or hold my hand or SOMETHING. Going to one of the parties at your apartment and somehow you'd end up right next to me, wearing that backwards hat, drinking a beer, when you'd look down at me and say "Sup". Seriously, you must have known you were just killing me because you'd give me this grin and those dimples and in the blink of an eye you'd be across the room joking with your friends. But when I would search the room for you later, among 50 drunk college kids, it seemed like every time you'd be looking for me too, and we would kind of half smile from across the room. Watching you play xbox with your roommate until his girlfriend and I threatened to destroy it. Tiger Woods golf and Madden was almost the death of you both. I watched you make some questionable decisions and I watched myself make some incredibly stupid decisions. I tried to pretend it didn't bother me when you talked to other girls, when really it made me crazy jealous. I actually cracked up a few days later when you confronted me about talking to another guy. You were jealous too. This wasn't love yet. I don't know what it was other than two kids who met and knew, but just weren't ready. Until one day, a few months after one of our fabulous pseudo "break ups" (because how do you break up with someone you aren't really "with"?) you looked at me and said you wanted to talk to me (every girl knows what that means- its either really good or really bad). And after discussing the whole thing with my mom (I really needed some solid advice), I decided why not give this another chance? It was fun and crazy and I was crazy about him. And March 24, 2004, after 6 month of what-are-we, I-need-to-focus-on-school, I-like-you, we're-just-friends-but-you-kissed-me, we finally said it. We are together. Not like high school together, we were done dating other people and playing and all that. We spent the summer with the windows down in that red truck, my feet hanging out of the window, riding down River road, blaring classic rock, even though I hated it, (I learned to love it because you did), and sometimes classic country- because who doesn't love George Jones (you learned to love it because I did), we laid blankets on the levee, went camping with our friends, and we figured out pretty quickly that going to parties now were pointless, because we'd always end up in a corner talking to each other. We were so young. So so young. Relationships are tricky and scary and exhausting at that age any age. But we did it. We sailed through going to school and living an hour apart when I started nursing school, we never questioned whether we could do long distance. Even when you looked into internships in Texas. None of it mattered. We were in it for the long haul, and distance wasn't an issue for us.









Dating was easy, being engaged was easy. Full of romantic dates and too much wine and pasta and desserts(and where did this extra 25 lbs come from??). Getting married was something I had dreamed about, like most other girls, since I was a little girl. Babies and houses and vacations filled my head. But who knew its the hard times that really make us? The fairy tale moments, the times that make our hearts flutter, those are great. But how we handle those hard times end up being the bones of a marriage. Holding each other's hands and holding each other up and plowing through something so awful you never imagined would actually happen to you? Those are the times that change us.

Fast forward 12 years, and here we are. Married for (almost) 9 years, 3 precious little girls and another on the way (yes another girl- pregnancy post coming soon!). We have moved all over the place. We have both changed. We've grown up- together. No longer 19 and tipsy, flirting with each other at a party, now we spend our Friday nights sprawled across the couch wrapped in a blanket, you drinking a glass wine totally exhausted from working all week, and I'm dosing off while leaning on your shoulder, and there are little ones and a dog draped all over us and the rest of the couch. We talk about life and jobs and moving and money, and how was everyone's day, when out of the blue one of the girls hops up and wraps her little arms around your neck. She loves you so much that you can see it on her face. All three of them do. You're Prince Charming. You are it for them. And I pray every night that one day each of our girls finds a husband just like you.





The boy I fell in love with is now the man that has helped me recover after three births and two miscarriages. The man who grins ear to ear every time I tell him we're having another baby, and held my hand as we walked into the ER the night we lost our baby last fall. The night I was hemorrhaging and he helped me to the bathroom in the hospital, and even though I've never felt more embarrassed in my life as I was covered in blood, he never flinched, just held my hand and helped me into the shower. And then he held my hand and was terrified right there with me when we found out a year later that there was another on the way. The man who has seen me give birth, and throw up and cry and breastfeed. The man who has held my hand and rubbed my back and went through every contraction with me. He's cut umbilical cords and held all three of our babies seconds after they were born. He walked me through the depression that felt like it lasted forever after we had Maggie. I was so scared he would think I was absolutely crazy when I told him how I felt and about the awful battle raging in my mind, while cradling our first baby in my arms. He just looked at me, exhausted with circles under my eyes, confused, and sad, and said "I would never think you are crazy. I love you more than anything in the world and we will get through this together." And we did. And what a nightmare it was to see you walk in the door after being laid off, only to watch in absolute amazement after you landed another job less than a month later. Who knew we would go through so much together in just 9 years? And who knows what we have in store for us?







It feels like just a second ago I was staring up at those big brown eyes and dimples, with that backwards white LSU hat, and then I blinked, and now you're a daddy of 3, and we're laying there on the couch and you've got your hand on my belly feeling another one of your babies move. You make pancakes on the weekend and we dance barefoot in the kitchen. Our marriage isn't perfect, and you're not perfect and I'm far from perfect and we still annoy each other sometimes but we try. Every day we try. We still find ourselves in the corner at a party talking to each other. We still have nights, although now few and far between, when we drink entirely too much and laugh entirely too much and feel like we're in college again and remember very clearly the next morning that we're not. Sometimes money is great, and sometimes it would be great to have more. But what a blessed life we live, even with all of the hard times. And I feel so blessed to have watched you go from the wild college boy I fell in love with to my husband and the daddy of our babies. And I couldn't adore you more.

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