Have I mentioned lately how much I love my husband? Well, watch out, ’cause it’s about to get gooey in here.
Friday evening we got together with some of Hubby’s former PhD cohorts at a local eatery across the street from their alma mater. Of these friends, four are married (only two of them to each other) and have at least one kid. One of them is seven months pregnant, and she and her husband also had their four-year-old daughter with them. Guess what topic dominated the conversation.
Hubby displaced the four-year-old’s dad so he could sit across from her. He asked about her stuffed monkey, and when her mom suggested she name it [Hubby’s name], he said “Ooh, yeah, I like bananas, too.” He encouraged her to pull on his hand as hard as she could and feigned falling over the table in pain, proclaiming she was so strong! He made a telescope with his hands and peeked at her through it, which made her giggle.
I love seeing Hubby around kids, but it makes me sad, too. Because I know he’ll be a great dad if we ever get there.
I didn’t point out until later, when we saw them in the parking lot, that there were also month-old twin girls with the family sitting behind us. Hubby was too busy entertaining the preschooler, but I noticed the twins right away and got a bad case of the baby-crazies. Every time one of them cried, I fought the urge to turn around, but I could picture their parents holding them. I could hear mom or dad’s voice, softly comforting baby girl, and it broke my heart a little that I still feel so far away from being in their shoes. From being able to cuddle my own child or to watch Hubby do the same.
The fact that they were twins didn’t help. Hubby has this dream of having at least one set of twin girls (despite my reminders that he doesn’t really get to choose, and it’s my body that has to carry them safely for nine months, so maybe we should try to stick to one at a time). Even better, he’d love to have triplets. He filled out a questionnaire recently, as part of a study that looks at the beliefs and values of people in his particular field, and one of the questions was, “If you could only have one child, which gender would you prefer?” Hubby’s answer? A girl, of course.
He’s great with his nephews, too. He’s so silly and uninhibited, exactly the way you should be with young children–you know, when you’re the uncle and don’t have to enforce the rules. Not that you can’t do both as a parent. It’s just, when they’re not your kids, you get all the fun without the responsibility.
But I look forward to teaching our kids to be respectful, independent, productive members of society as much as I look forward to rolling around on the floor with them or playing dress-up. And I know Hubby will be great at that, too. If we ever get the chance. He wants to encourage critical thinking and teach our children to be little scientists, like him.
He has always promised that we will have our family, whatever it takes to get us there. We talk about adopting children from China or Africa, or both. We watched the movie Win Win and discussed the pros and cons of adopting a much older child. And of course, with IVF looming, he gets super-excited about the possiblity of multiples. But none of these things is our reality yet.
This Father’s Day, I called my dad, who was spending the day with my sister and niece (and yes, I was a tad bit jealous). I saw my brother-in-law in person, as he and my oldest sister were passing through on their way to visit their son and his family, and wished him a happy day.
And for the first time ever, I gave Hubby a card to express that what I see in him now are the qualities that will make him a great dad. And how much I want that to happen for both of us. When I gave it to him, he told me I was “so cute,” and held me tight and told me he loved me. Next year, I hope it will be a three-way hug.