The Man I Love

 

“Can you take her for a few hours?”
2 a.m. Pitch black. I tried to steady my voice, but somehow he still knew…
“You okay?” his gentle hand brushed my shoulder.
I thrust the baby into his arms and began to sob.
“I… just… would… do… anything… if… she… would… stop… crying…”
“It’s okay, Baby… it’s okay…”
Two weeping girls—one very brave man.
How many times he paced the floor during those first four months. How many times I dozed off to the sound of his feet, gentle thuds circling through the kitchen, dining room, living room. How many times I opened one eye to find dad and daughter asleep, he on the couch and she in the only place she could rest—on his chest.
His coworkers told him to quit spoiling me. “Let your wife get on the baby’s schedule,” they said.
They’d never experienced a child with colic.
One who refused to sleep for 12 hours straight and screamed like clockwork for at least 4 of those hours. One who could not be comforted no matter how much bouncing, pacing, swaddling, swinging, shhhhhhshing we tried. One who refused to find solace except in one place—her daddy’s arms.
I knew how the tiny human felt. The first time this man held me, I knew I was home. In an instant everything was going to be okay.
This man, this strong, gentle man, is turning another year older today. What a year it has been. His 28th year of life, and his 5th year in my life.
For all the ways his arms have opened wide, I am grateful. For all the ways he has run into my arms, I am grateful. This man knows both how to give and to receive—a deep well of love that spills over into our daughter’s life every single day.
In the dark, through the tears, and in the special moments of the past year…
I am grateful. Happy Birthday to the man I love.
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