I've been thinking a lot about fathers lately. Most specifically, fathers and daughters. I seem to be reading many books lately with the beginning of fatherhood as a theme (this always happens to me, I get stuck on a theme and everything i touch seems to relate to it, I don't seek it out). I've also been listening to some friends worry about the state of their relationships. One wants marriage, but her boyfriend doesn't, the other two want kids and the husbands have jitters (one of then has a baby coming, so he needs to resolve this:)
When I was telling Rob about all of the drama, his reply was "Rookies, don't they know people have been getting married and having kids forever and they're usually ok. I don't regret my girls for one minute." It is no secret (he will fully admit this) that my husband can be very difficult. He's introverted, slightly surly, deadly sarcastic, and moody. That said, he is one of the best fathers that I have ever met. I don't know if it's just me, but the guys of my generation seem to be wonderful dads (jury out on the husband front). They are loving and involved. Did I some how know this when I married Rob? Was I subconsciously able to look in the future and see that he could give my children what I always wanted, a consistent loving man, unconditional love. I had my wonderful grandfather and my step father, but my Papa didn't live with us and my step father and I really didn't bond until I was 12/13. My dad had good intentions, but he was not very paternal.
When I was pregnant with Caroline, our Douala told me that in her experience, the minute a new dads saw the baby, he would start rocking and immediately fall in a trance. She wasn't kidding. He fell in love instantly. It's a love affair that has been going on for 11 years. Fatherhood was (in my opinion) the best thing to happen to rob. I'm sure he agrees with me. It has pulled him out of himself (well at least a little). Fatherhood forces him to get out of his head and acknowledge the rest of the world. Some days it feels like I live in a zoo or frat house as they go rolling and wrestling around the house or pile on the couch like puppies. I don't think that I would have it any other way.
A couple of weeks ago, I was lamenting the up coming arrival of forty. I was worried that my firsts are all over. I guess it is good to be in a settled place with someone that I love very much. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I love him more now than when we first got married. On Tuesday, we will have been married 13 years. Yeah, he's a keeper.