When I see the three of them walking around the school yard, talking about classes, or when I come home from work and they’re already involved with another round of Just Dance or bouncing around the kitchen to the upbeat disco of the Scissor Sisters “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin,’” I’m mystified by the connection they have. Of course, I could never have the same connection to my children that Julie has, as she carried them for nine months and brought them into this world. I continue to be in awe that such a phenomenon occurs; I continue to be in awe of my wife as a woman and the character she shows as a mother.
While I believe that there is some part of this character that she gained from growing up, I believe that her enormous capacity to love is just inherent to who she is as a human being. It’s that same capacity to love (and forgive) that made me fall so deeply in love with her back in 1992. To claim that I knew Julie would be a good mother when we first met would be an exaggeration. Parenthood was a distant thought during our courtship. But I could see that she had a quality about her, a loving patience and understanding, a quality that would make her a great mom.
When we finally became parents, the two of us were faced with confusion and sadness. As I’ve written about in the past, Sophie didn’t come home from the hospital with us (having to stay an extra week). Julie spent every moment she could by our daughter’s side; she would have slept in the NICU if they had let her. Likewise, when Jacob was born and he, too, was required to stay in the NICU. Julie was with him every waking moment she could, if only to hold his tiny hand. At the same time, she was gentle with Sophie and comforted her during all of the confusion. She also comforted me a great deal, too.
Part of the trouble with marrying a writer is that your spouse’s mind is constantly wandering or dreaming. Most of the time, Julie has to be the reasonable one, the practical one. It isn’t easy, especially with two children growing up so fast and one of them battling a chronic illness. But Julie does so with little complaint and an abundance of love and affection.
My wife is patient and is always on hand to sooth the tempers of her children or her husband. She understands me so well and has an understanding of our children that is beyond my comprehension. Julie would be the first to tell you that our life is a partnership in marriage and in parenthood. For that I am blessed, just as I am blessed that she is my best friend, and that I’m blessed that she’s the mother of our children.
I long for the day when I can lavish her with gifts that equal the worth she brings to our family. I don’t know if there enough treasures in the world that equal that value but I hope that someday I can begin doing that for her. Until then, all I can offer are these words… and a song.