I pick. I probe. I ask questions. In my first marriage I used to ask “Are we gonna be okay?” and later learned I should have been more specific. Early on with MQD I started asking specific questions.
“If I can’t get pregnant will you resent me?”
“Do you believe it’s possible to marry, raise a family and still be in love? Do you want that with me?”
“I won’t likely make the same kind of money you will and I want to raise my children, be at home as much as I can. I struggle with feeling like that makes me your equal. Do you think it does?”
But every so often there’s a question. One I don’t let pass my lips because I already know the answer.
The other night I was listening to MQD tucking Em in to bed. They were laughing. “Good night, sweetheart. I love you,” he said.
He was walking down the stairs and a question popped in to my head. He walked behind me as I sat in the rocking chair and he paused and looked down at Lucy. I could feel him smiling.
“Do you love Emily the same way you love Lucy?” Contrary to the way it might appear to some, I do occasionally bite my tongue. I didn’t ask him.
But once I’d formulated the question I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s ridiculous. It was a trap. I don’t love Lucy and Emily the same. Equally, sure. But not the same. And I’d never ask him if he loved them equally. The scientist in him would immediately answer that Love is not something that can be quantified. There was no right answer.
And really his answer doesn’t matter. It’s a silly question. And one I know the answer to in the grand scheme of things.
I tell Emily all of the time that no matter what, even if I had a hundred more kids that always and forever it would be Emily that made me a mother. It secures her a special place in my heart.
Emily made MQD a father, too. It’s easy to see a father’s love with an infant in his arms. For that matter it is easy to love an infant. But MQD grew to love a three year old. Anyone who has ever spent time with a three year old knows that they are fickle beasts.
Emily made MQD a father. One day at a time. Slowly.
She started calling him Dad the day we were married. But he became a dad long before then.
Mike, I love the way you love your girls. All three of us.