Sunday, September 7, 2014

For Chris: I didn't know how well I'd done when I married you.

me and my friend boy, six years ago this month

It's Australian Father's Day and while you are Canadian and I'm American, all of our babies have been born in this third country where we have made a home together.  I've had the flu this weekend and the littlest one is miserable so you are out with the big kids on your own.

When you and I were dating, (mostly through the interwebs, but with our whole heart) I had no idea.  We were babies then, not thinking at all about having babies of our own, talking about EVERYTHING we could think of to try and make a wise decision together.  How would we spend our money, where would we live, what does hospitality mean, would we travel or root ourselves deep?  We talked about how we would space our babies (or not), and how many kids we'd like to have though that was for someday in the future, not anytime soon.  You were handsome and creative and kind and I was very much in love; we said our vows and moved in with each other, we thought we would make so much music together.

Instead we made babies - our first, who waits with us for all things to be made new, and the three who are growing us up now.  I didn't know that you as a father would be so enmeshed with you as a husband but that's how things have unfolded and here we are now.  You hadn't even held a newborn until you had your own.  We had no idea how children would gently wreck us and force us to re-imagine everything we thought about ourselves.   I didn't realise how well I'd done when I married you.

I didn't know the thousand hours you would spend holding our children in the night while I slept.  Or how you would throw off grumpiness by throwing a blanket over yourself and chasing the kids around the house.  (Big brother clings to little sister, giggling and assuring her over and over again, "It's just dad.  It's just dad.  It's just dad.")  Or how you would be able to connect with our son when I just can't, and tell the most perfectly boring bedtime story/songs night after night after night.  When you are in love over Skype, who talks about how long they will breastfeed, where babies will sleep,  the anger that tiredness can bring, or the pressure of small screaming people?  How could I have known how present you would be in the suffering of my body when each child has arrived, what a balm you would be to my heart?

I didn't realise how much you would care for people outside of our little family, how you would connect and mentor and serve.  I didn't realise how deeply proud I would be when I see you around, that you are mine, and I am yours.  

When we were dating I thought I was in love with you.  I didn't even have a clue.


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