7 years ago I fell in love with a man. We met on July 3 at his father's house and we spent the weekend getting to know each other. On my drive from Texas back up to New Hampshire, I called my mom and said, "I've met the man I'm going to marry."
Doug proposed on New Year's Day, 1999, and on October 2 of that year, we married. After a 3 week honeymoon to Scotland, we settled down to life in the military. Well, I settled down. Doug had already been in for 9 years, so he was pretty much settled.
We had all the usual struggles that come with a couple that dated long distance. And the struggles that go along with being a military couple. But, on New Years Eve of 2001, the best thing happened to us. We had a fight. I recall there being some voices being raised. And possibly a dish got broken. I don't really remember. But, Doug went out for a walk, and brought home a pregnancy test. And 20 minutes later, when I tested negative, we sat down to eat dinner. 30 minutes after that, when I glanced at the test before throwing it in the trash, our lives changed. Completely and utterly changed.
September 5, 2002. Gwenivere Hope was born at 7:27 in the morning. She was born into the hands of a midwife who didn't really know enough English to give me any instruction, but she did know enough to tell us that "Gven ist long. Like spaghetti noodle."
When I try to think back on that morning, I remember three things clearly. Doug's arms were around me. His face was close to mine. And we cried like crazy when we saw Gwen in the arms of the midwife, although he has been known to deny this last part.
The presence of a father is so important to a child. I have been so blessed to grow up with a dad that knew the importance of family. And to marry a man who believed the same.
Happy Father's Day, Doug. And Dad. :)