She came – she loved – she conquered and I couldn’t do a thing, in this case, I didn’t want to do anything. She sneaked into our lives and transformed it forever. It was love at first sight for him. His exact words were, “She is beautiful and pure and I love her.” I knew he was helplessly in love with her and, to be honest, she is a charmer. It’s actually pretty difficult to have any other feeling but love for her. When I met her the first time, she swooped me off my feet too; I was mesmerized – STOP! There is no other woman in his life. The female I am referring to is our sixteen-month-old daughter.
When I was pregnant, we did not do a sex determination test. Since we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl, I prepared myself for both. I read a few books and spent a lot of time online – researching parenting techniques for both boys and girls. My husband relied on secondary research information I provided. We picked out two names – one if it were a little girl and the other for a boy.
My husband is a very ambitious man and very devoted to his career growth. I did make a very careless assumption that he wouldn’t be too involved with our child’s day-to-day activities and milestones. He didn’t seem like a guy who would coo with his baby or feed another human being beside himself. He has never ever cleaned the bathroom, so expecting him to be on diaper duty was like expecting me to participate in a 10K run. I hate to admit – I was wrong, so damn wrong! The past is definitely no indicator of the future.
This parenting gig has rocked our world and how! It’s like I have a brand new man, more like – Husband 2.0. I guess we have entered the fifth stage of our relationship – the co-creation or Bliss stage (as identified by Dr. Susan Campbell during a study of hundreds of couples). I was of the belief that having a third person in a marriage can be detrimental. Our daughter is the best inclusion ever. She exposed him – stripped him off any pretense. He finally understands what it is to be the vulnerable one in the relationship. Those high protective walls have been torn down. She taught him to love, even before she was born.
She doesn’t speak more than five or six words – but they don’t need a spoken language to communicate. He understands her every coo, every sigh and even the slightest crinkle of her eye. That’s how closely he pays attention to her. He doesn’t mind shoe shopping for her and will spend an hour trying on ten different pairs, till he is convinced she has the best. He reminds me of a lovesick puppy at the wooing stage – complimenting her; listening to her; fawning over her.
Does this make me feel like the third wheel? No way! I love it. Her presence has made me more grateful for him. We agree on more things than we ever did before. He has become more sensitive and finally agrees – crying is not a sign of weakness, but an expression of discomfort that can also be cathartic. His unadulterated devotion to her reminds me why I fell in love with him in the first place. I’m no longer just his wife; I am the co-creator of his masterpiece and he never lets me forget that.