And still no cute family pictures. I keep thinking it would be a good idea, but then life never slows down long enough for it to seem like a really good idea.
Oliver is over the moon. (This is not sarcasm.)
The first time around, this did not go as well. During Zoe’s ultrasound he was occupied with manicuring his fingernails (bite off a piece, pull the hand back for examination, repeat) and he stopped only to express moderate disappointment that she wasn’t a boy.
This time went slightly better. We both not understand that there is no return policy with these fetuses (unless you’re into female infanticide — which we are not) and so we would have been happy no matter what the result. But little girls have that way of flouncing into your heart. Lately I’ve been getting many sidelong glances from the hubby accompanied by, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a troupe of little girls?”
At this ultrasound Oliver played with Zoe while she pretended his chair was Elsa’s ice castle, pointed out to her the baby’s head on the sonogram machine, and lit up when the nurse told us it’s a girl. An improvement.
When I describe the tender, thoughtful things Oliver does, people fawn over our marriage, grow jealous, and wonder if it’s really possible to find a husband like him. When I describe how insensitive and emotionally dead Oliver used to be (and occasionally still is), people look at me aghast and wonder why I put up with such nonsense. It’s not particular to Oliver. When I describe my own behaviors I elicit similar reactions.
The answer to how to find a spouse as awesome as mine is that you sign up for both halves. You don’t get one without the other. As human beings we have a magnificent range of douche bag to angelic. People I meet now seem to think I am this wise, weathered soul who “understands pain.” Or maybe you see right through me. Whatever. Either way, you don’t get to the point where you “understand pain” without first being an asshole. That’s what pain does to us. Pain and poor judgment. I have complete confidence that after I finally convince someone to publish my book, people will run like deer in the opposite direction after discovering what it took to get to this stage of relative peace. Can’t wait until I write the second book and people get to find out that Oliver wanted to go to a debate tournament instead of staying in the hospital with me hours after I delivered our first child and that I once seriously considered leaving that child on the side of the road.
There are ugly things in both of our pasts.
I don’t recommend that everyone broadcast their personal information like I do (unless you want to weed through your friends very quickly) but in order to determine what is healthy, what must change, and what the next step looks like, we MUST start telling the truth about our behaviors to people we trust. Especially the extremes.
I’m so lucky that Oliver chooses to put up with me every day. This gratitude and awe makes it much easier to regain perspective on those rare occasions when Oliver inconveniences me, Center of the Known Universe. I could get angry that he is imperfect, but or I could be grateful that I’ve found someone with just the right combination of sweet and stupid that he was willing to shackle himself to me for eternity. I never would have guessed how much we’d both grow in the span of three years and I’m excited to see how our family progresses as we welcome our new baby girl in September.
And maybe we’ll get a family picture in before the girls leave for college. Baby steps, right?