Last summer, The Boyfriend and I took Julia to Symphony Sunday. We met some friends there for the festivities but I was doubtful we’d make it to the fireworks because my daughter hates loud noises. Our friends brought headphones for their son.
Genius! Why didn’t I think of that???
The Boyfriend reached into his bag and pulled out a similar pair.
“Here. I brought some for her.”
Right then, at that very moment, I knew.
This is a man worthy of being a father to my daughter.
And that’s not something I say lightly and it’s not something that came easy.
You see, my daughter has an amazing father. I made sure of that. Growing up in a home with a poor excuse for a dad led me to seek out qualities in a husband that would make him a good father.
And in Mike, I found that. He was pure joy. He was full of life, he was easygoing and he was funny. An unkind word never crossed his lips. He was a hard worker, a good role model, a strong provider.
When he died, he left a huge void in our lives. Three years later, there is still a void. I suspect there always will be. We can never replace him. We would never even try.
But slowly, and I do mean slowly, painstakingly even, we started to let Andrew in. I felt so lucky to be dating someone who not only liked being with me, he liked being with my kid.
Aside from the headphones, he’s been thoughtful in a million other ways. He taught her to ride a bike. He took her ice skating for the first time. He made her Minnie Mouse pancakes for breakfast. He bought her a pink fishing pole and put the worms on the hook for her. He went to her school and made gingerbread houses with her class when I couldn’t.
So a few weeks ago when he got down on one knee with a ring in his hand, he wasn’t just asking me to marry him. He was asking for us to be a family.
We said yes.
And while Andrew and Mike are two very different people, they share many of the same qualities that are important in a father. Andrew is strong and smart and driven. He is kind and respectful and loving. He adores me and he adores my daughter.
So I consider Julia to be one lucky girl. She was born to a good father who loved her more than life. And she will grow up with a good man who will love her like a father.
And on that note, I’ll be saying goodbye to The Mommyhood. We’re moving to another Charleston and starting a new life there. Thank you for letting me share my stories about grief and loss, the stresses of single motherhood, the crazy antics of childhood and about finding new love. It’s been a pleasure.