This feature is called a Father’s Heart. Truth is, I wouldn’t be able to wax semi-poetically about the joys of being a father if there wasn’t a mother or two involved somewhere. The things I have gotten wrong in my life are legion … epic, really. But don’t blame my mom. She did her best. She just sort of shakes her head at my latest misadventure and says, “I raised him better than that.” And she did.
Through some miracle, I managed to make sure my own kids have exceptional moms. The mother of my first daughter, Sandy, is a wonderful woman and a great mother. We are among the lucky ones that have weathered a divorce and remained friends. That Sandy is turning out to be an exceptional young woman has a whole lot more to do with her mom than it does with me, and I am learning to live with that.
And sometimes, one right move can make up for a whole boatload of stupid. Marrying my wife Lotte is the move that balanced my ledger. She is my best friend. I know how dopey that sounds, but the truth is the truth. She tolerates my aging rock star, frustrated poet nonsense and my incessant whining that “I coulda been a contender…”
When I look at her I forget all of the things that I think I don’t have and remember all of the ways that my life has been blessed — most of it because of her and the amazing, annoying, beautiful children we made together. I wish I could tell a gentle tale right here about how my wife and I rediscover one another again after a long week of work by lying in bed on a Sunday morning with her head resting on my chest, drinking coffee and sharing the paper.
I’d love to tell you that, but I’d be lying. These days we are more likely to wake up on a Sunday and find ourselves separated by two dogs and two kids while we enjoy Spongebob’s dulcet tones blasting in our ears.
I get grumpy about that.
My wife’s eyes light up at the sight of her babies with a joy that I do not have the words to convey. But it takes my breath and my grumpiness away every time.
Better half? Not likely. Anything that is good about anything I have done or ever will do is because she allows the likes of me to share her life.
She is my Shelter. She is my friend. She is the mother of my children and she is the one that helped me find my Father’s Heart.